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Make your social event go viral: What we learned from #MilkFlipCup

Rebecca Shaw for Progressive Dairy Published on 25 May 2021

Remember the ALS ice bucket challenge? How about dairy dance off? The milk chug challenge? If you’re on social media, you probably remember they went viral. Some even made national news. Ever wondered how they made that happen?

Here’s the secret: There is no secret. You’d drive yourself mad trying to figure out the formula because the game is always changing. However, I can offer you three tips I learned while helping plan two Milk Flip Cup tournaments that can help increase your chances at having a successful, fun and potentially viral event.

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1. Build a team that has one common goal but a lot of different strengths.

“I think our greatest strength as a team is how different we all are. We never would’ve received the sponsorships or the exposure we’ve gotten without such a diverse, dedicated team of people,” says Pennsylvania dairy farmer Jess Peters. (Find her on Instagram: @SeeJessFarm)

Not everyone needs to be a planner and not everyone needs thousands of followers. Build a team of people who believe in your mission and vision while covering for each other’s weaknesses with their own strengths. Milk Flip Cup team is diverse in geography, upbringing, career journeys and social media platforms. But, we all believe in spreading the good word about dairy by giving back to our communities.

Hannah Lund, Idaho dairy farmer (follow her: @IDDairyGirl), explains, “It’s great to see the donations come in to help feed families around America that do not have meals available to them. It just makes me feel like I’m making a difference in someone’s life out there.”

2. Use your networks.

“It is the people: our players, our communities, our sponsors. So many people stepped up to make the milk cup challenge happen,” says Tara Vander Dussen, professional dairy advocate. (Learn more: @NewMexicoMilkmaid

Networking is key. Whether you need sponsors, participants, coverage or event recognition, tap into your networks. Milk Flip Cup has grown over the last year because our networks shared with their networks, who shared with their networks. You get where I’m going with this.

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3. Plan ahead and then plan some more.

“I think planning well in advance for any event (in person or virtual) is crucial because it’s giving your team a roadmap. Then you have a clear vision that you can execute together and make sure that your time and effort is being utilized in the most efficient way possible,” says Emily Shaw, a personal trainer based in Florida. (Find her online: @DairyGirlFitness

The more time you spend planning the more challenges will arise. And, the more challenges you tackle early, the less hurdles you’ll hit during the event. The less hurdles you hit, the more time you spend improving.

“We never in a million years expected to take off as well as it did last year,” says Becca Hilby, Wisconsin dairy farmer. (Follow her on Instagram: @FarmingWithTheHilbys) She continues, “Now that we have a better idea of what needs to be done to keep it growing, it's been a thrill to see it take off again.”

If you want to see these three tips in action, check out our Instagram page, @MilkFlipCup. You can watch tournament games on the weekends, root for your players and even host your own games to spread June Dairy Month cheer.

Oh, and here’s my bonus tip – Just go for it! If it falls flat, who cares? You learned something. Or, it could end up on “Good Morning America.” You never know what might happen.  end mark

Rebecca Shaw
  • Rebecca Shaw

  • Senior Account Executive
  • Public Relations
  • Bader Rutter
  • Email Rebecca Shaw

In the 2nd annual Milk Flip Cup challenge, 16 farmers across the country will compete virtually in a flip cup competition. Followers are encouraged to purchase apparel and make donations to benefit Feeding America and its network of food banks.

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