The Power of Social Media

I will never question the power of social media ever again. Recently, we had a Facebook notice go viral – what an experience!

Here at the Delta Flight Museum we have what we call Surplus Sales. These sales often contain non-current items Delta Air Lines donates to the Museum when they are trying to clean out a warehouse or closet. It’s a win for Delta to free up storage space and it’s a win for the Museum because we can sell the items as a fundraiser. Of course we save what we need to for the collection, but how many pallets of silverware or on-board soap dispensers do we really need?

On Friday, December 5, we posted a Facebook notice about an upcoming Surplus Sale we were having exactly one week later. This sale was to feature galley carts – you know, what the flight attendants use during drink service down the aisles. We’ve had these carts for sale at least a dozen times over the past few years and at $50-100 each, they’re a relatively decent seller. This month though, they skyrocketed!

Galley carts for sale at the Delta Flight Museum
Galley carts for sale at the Delta Flight Museum

Our Facebook post about this galley cart sale generated so much buzz we gained 300+ new followers in just one week. We had over 100 comments, 270 shares, and it reached to over 43,000 people! My coworkers and I spent every day that week answering comments and questions, multiple times per day. This post got picked up by popular aviation blog sites and even news media. It was crazy.

On the morning of the sale, which started at 9am, I arrived to work just after 7, with a line already starting. By 9am, the line was hundreds of people deep, and once we opened the doors, we were sold out of the carts in about 15 minutes! I’ve never see sale lines like this.

Long lines at the Delta Flight Museum Surplus Sale
Long lines at the Delta Flight Museum Surplus Sale

As soon as we sold out of the carts, we posted it on Facebook…and had to do a few more similar posts the following couple of days because of the comments and phone calls we kept getting. Did we have any left? No. Will we offer rain checks? No. Will we be getting any more in? We don’t know when we’re getting surplus until it basically shows up at our door.

Lessons learned from this experience:

  • You never know when a social media post is going to go viral!
  • Keep checking your social media for comments and questions, and answer often.
  • Let customers know if something has changed (or in our case, if you’ve sold out).

Have you had any similar experiences where a social media post went viral? If so, what did you learn?