In 2011, providing aid to the earthquake victims in Japan has consumed the world’s consciousness at the macro level. Closer to home, New Yorkers are focusing on a different sort of social aid—reinventing age-old meditation techniques to recharge the city that never sleeps. But, diverging from traditional approaches to meditation, one NYC-based group is harnessing social media, audience engagement, and trendspotting to spread mediation to the masses.
Leading the charge is a movement called I Meditate NY, powered by Art of Living. What makes them unique from similar organizations in New York City?
- They rely almost entirely on social media and word of mouth to create awareness via Facebook, Twitter, and a Meetup community. In fact, Facebook was the #1 referrer within the first 3 weeks of I Meditate NY’s launch; Twitter came in at #10. We’re told all marketing and outreach was done with minimal resources, not exceeding $2K.
- Decisions and future direction are crowd sourced from the community—starting with what the organization’s t-shirts will say to what other nonprofits will be honored and supported. It’s is a grassroots, community-lead initiative in every way.
- The marketing and outreach efforts are entirely run by volunteers—think young, professional New Yorkers working at powerhouses like American Express, Macy’s and NBC who don’t fit any yogi stereotypes we know. Full disclosure: this writer is involved with the movement and is the furthest thing from a yogi.
- I Meditate NY was formally launched via Facebook on March 5th. By the end of the month, the page had garnered more than 2,000 fans and driven 293 likes and comments—a rate of engagement that is almost unheard of unless you’re a celebrity or a mega brand. In fact, most Marketers would give their right hand and their brand-new iPads for these results.
These are extraordinary results for a newly hatched movement, despite being 100% focused on a deeply busy, driven city like New York. Whatever the reason, there seems to be a bigger movement at play amongst New Yorkers. The Huffington Post and others start publishing tips on maintaining inner calm via meditation while riding the New York subway!
This post was originally posted on Seedwalker.