Santa’s social web on Christmas Eve

Santa Claus, Père Noël, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas…the big man has been busy on the social web this December (check out my recent posts for other examples). There’s been plenty of chat on the Xmas www with “Merry Christmas” and “Santa” top trends on Twitter in the UK at the moment.

For all of the Coca-Cola ads, with Santa stealing the show (those “holidays are coming” ads seem to come around too quickly each year!), there is an online tradition currently in the making. NORAD Tracks Santa.

Since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defence Command used their radars to tell kids over the telephone where Santa and his sleigh was on the big night. Now, the social web has seen this spread on to Google Maps, Google Earth, Google+, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and now Android and iPhone apps.

I first found out about NORAD Tracks Santa in December 2008 and have been popping online to check this out since…especially these past two years as my little niece gets to that age where the magic of Santa really comes alive (talking to her about Santa over Facebook is strange but a sign of things to come for families enjoying the traditions of Christmas).

This is one of the many moments that one realises technology is become more integrated with our day to day. And how social media can really help tell a great story, bring it alive and keep people engaged. NORAD are rather fortunate to have the big man and a big festive season to tap into but this is a great example of what social media is really about. People, not organisations.

NORAD Tracks Santa has been growing steadily with their YouTube Channel getting over 30,000,000 video views, a Facebook Page with over 930,000 “likes” and a Twitter feed with over 90,000 followers. And rising as the sun sets on Christmas Eve across the globe. Santa has done Paris…now for London…where my niece should be tucked up in bed rather than glued to the computer screen!

Happy Christmas!


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