My tweet went viral thanks to Elon Musk. Sort of.
In a nutshell, it is built-in intelligence for the PowerWall to save up energy when a storm is nearby (rather than using it for house consumption). The feature is awesome but at the time of the tweet, it was just for very major storms like Hurricanes. All good but I wished that it could be enabled for those fast moving storms that roll through Florida on a daily basis in the summer. Fast and furious lightning and thunder with flooding rains that can definitely knock out power for a few minutes/hours if the right equipment gets in the way of the storms.
So I sent out this tweet and added Elon Musk. I have read stories about how Tesla has implemented customer requests before so why not?
2 days later, a storm rolled in and my PowerWall activated Storm Watch! It was super cool and most likely a coincidence but I was so excited, I fired off another tweet.
A few moments later, my phone went bananas. It was buzzing and notifications were flying in every few seconds. I went to twitter to see what happened and saw that Elon had retweeted my last tweet to his 27M followers.
Over the next 24 hours, the tweet had ~1.4 million impressions with 13k engagements. I don’t normally receive that kind of exposure and it was to say the least, strange.
The whole thing was super weird in the moment and it was quickly apparent to me that this spotlight was completely out of my control. I had almost no way to turn it off and that part of it was a little unsettling. With any type of internet attention, there come a bunch of internet trolls as well. People randomly cursing, asking weird or dumb questions and just generally commenting awful things about Tesla to help drive down the stock price. I think there is a lot of social manipulation of perception in an effort to help move the price one way or the other.
And then, just like it all started, it all stopped. Elon (or his Social Media team) deleted the tweet and basically shut off the firehose. I think they might have deleted the tweet since my Tesla video does contain a referral link that was getting more attention than normal.
The whole experience was super cool and weird and unsettling at the same time. This was just a small dose of the power of the internet though. Some videos, tweets and Instagrams reach 100’s of millions of people overnight unexpectedly.
For me, the story was both an exciting and cautionary tale of the power of social media and the internet. A reminder to watch what you post or at least make sure it is what you want the world to see. And the data from it all was super interesting to me.
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