97560363This weekend I really witnessed the power of Twitter and social media and it surprised me for the first time in a long time.

On Saturday I was busy at home cutting the grass and doing my fatherly duties, when my mother turned up at our house with two beautiful and friendly dogs.

She found them roaming the streets on one of Harrogate’s busiest roads. My mum had a good look around for the owners but couldn’t find anyone who knew who they belonged too and sadly they didn’t have any collars on either.

So she brought them to our house, which was just around the corner, and called the police to see if anyone had reported two friendly dogs missing. The police said they hadn’t at that stage and so we decided to leave our number and call the local dog warden.

Whilst my mum was doing this, I thought I would test something out and see if I could find the owner using Twitter. I got the dogs together in my garden and quickly took a picture (see left) with my iPhone and popped it up on Twitter.

At present I have almost 3,000 followers on Twitter and quite a few of my friends are from York, Leeds and Harrogate, so I thought one of them might know someone who had lost two dogs as they obviously belonged to somebody.

Bizarrely, it actually worked! A few of my friends re-tweeted the message and before I knew it I had a message from imagesomeone saying that she knew someone who had lost them. I called the number in the direct message and spoke to the owner, who was close to tears, and we arranged to get the dogs back to their rightful homes.

I have to admit all of this did surprise me at how quick we managed to find the owners – just using Twitter. I was genuinely really happy to have helped out and all it really took was a tweet. I  also received a lovely tweet (left) from a friendly local police officer called Ed who I know online. All in all it was a great result and I think it really shows the power of Twitter and online communities in general. I would personally like to thank everyone who helped with this by re-tweeting sharing the picture in various imageplaces. The dogs owner has promised to buy me a drink next time I see him.

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About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.