Today (26th June 2017) marks 20 years of Harry Potter. Being a huge fan myself, I remember being upset for days after reading the chapter on Dumbledore’s death. I can conjure up a number of stories that we centered around my and my friend’s obsession with the Harry Potter series. For many 90s kids, Harry Potter has been a significant part of their childhood and adolescent lives – which is why it is genius that Facebook is soaking up all that nostalgia and becoming associated with those good memories.
How Social Media is celebrating
By posting a status message on Facebook with the words Harry Potter or the names of the houses such as Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, etc., you can display on your timeline a video that has all the heart wrenching quotes from the book that take you back in time. On twitter, you can use the hashtag #HarryPotter20 to see the famed spectacles and lightening bolt scar appear on the tweet.
Nostalgia is a great reason to share. It makes you fish out happy thoughts from the very special box called childhood memories and instantly connect with the instigator of this response – in this case Facebook. Take my case, having seen the posts of others’, I immediately tagged my school friends, with whom I have waited in long lines outside book stores for Goblet of Fire, and also shared a quirky inside joke. Facebook now becomes the place where I can still connect with my old friends even in the midst of a busy day at work. That is something special. It cuts through all the white noise and makes an impact.
What’s in it for Facebook, why do they care about Harry Potter?
A combination of Facebook and Nostalgia equals lots of tagging and engagement. The time that people spend on Facebook is reaching a saturation and there is no more rapid growth. Social Media platforms like Facebook needs to pull stunts like this in order to keep interest levels of its audience. It is also like a feedback loop for them, to see the response levels of its users. They can also collect useful information such as: who are the most powerful influencers, how does a post or activity go viral, the kind of engagement (like, share, click) vs the type of audience, etc. This would in turn help them consult their top level clients to create maximum impact on their platform.
Well, all this talk about Harry Potter has primed me enough to do a marathon tonight.
À tout à l’heure !