Random acts of kindness have always been a thing. Long before hashtags and social media campaigns.
They are those rare events. Moments of purity, selflessness, and simple goodness.
A transformational act that jolts us out of the everyday grind.
We think of them as random, because they usually come from a stranger (which, let’s face it, is depressingly rare) or it’s from someone or something we didn’t expect.
But they can’t be random, even if it seems that way to us.
Someone’s seen you. They’ve got you.
They want to help and, importantly, they’ve had the courage to act.
They don’t expect anything in return.
It was Random Act of Kindness Day recently (17th Feb).
So, how did brands rise to this challenge?
It’s almost like they could only think of their own interests – which wasn’t really in the spirit of a random act of kindness. Not at all.
Most of what we saw went along the lines of:
“It’s randomactofkindnessday, give us your contact details and we’ll give you a chance to win some free stuff.”
It feels like the same old messages you get every day. You get a chance to win something small, which you need to pay for by giving away your details.
We can do better.
Let’s flip our perspective and look at how people talk about random acts of kindness.
We saw three types of activity, people are.
1. Sharing the simple things: being kind to strangers, it’s simple, here’s how…
2. Being more organised: they’re committed to a cause and as part of this are investing in kindness, being altruistic, deliberately trying to brighten someone’s day.
3. Teaching others how to be kind.
There’s a tribe of people out there who are trying to help the rest of us learn how to be kinder.
They could do with some support.
Engagement levels with their content suggests there’s an appetite for this.
A lesson for brands?
Kindness doesn’t need a Follow or a Like in return.
Do something genuinely kind and people will follow you – without you needing to ask them.