Very Social(able) Media
Given the death grip that Rob has on his privacy, it was surprising that the Brothers Laymon took to the RLL page to alert his closest friends to the situation. But I personally was glad for it. And what started as an APB on Rob’s predicament turned into a near-daily journal of his battle and, thankfully, his recovery. The brothers’ updates were upbeat and funny, and worthy of the man himself. They laid bare discussions about Rob’s hygiene, incoherent attempts at escape, his first solid foods in a month, and how he managed to convey indignation with nothing more than his eyebrows. But currents of anxiety and fear rippled at the edges of those posts, and a rock-steady commitment to their brother buoyed the whole thing to a positively inspirational level.
And something else fascinating happened. Our small band of Laymonites on the RLL page started sharing the status updates with our own Facebook connections, asking for prayers and positive energies. The vibe on the RLL page was so vibrant and entertaining that many of those strangers “liked” the page, and its numbers swelled to more than 200 — many of whom had never even heard of Rob before. They not only liked the page, but they commented and cheered on Rob and his brothers, and even the doctors and nurses.
No one was asking for any money. The page was a conduit of information for friends and an outlet for family. The only asks were for positive thoughts. But watching this all unfold, I believe Rob’s family could actually have raised some money with that page. Lesson: If you want to engage people, you must be engaging. And you must be genuine. If you speak from the heart about a cause that resonates with you, people will respond.