If you haven’t heard or seen Felix The Huddersfield Station Cat on Facebook in the past few weeks then where have you been?
Felix now has close to 50,000 Likes on his (well actually her) Facebook Page and has reached audiences all over the world
Created by a good friend & ex-colleague of Janet’s here at Social Progress (who shall remain anonymous at the request of the individual) the Page started out as a bit of fun but soon went viral. Felix was created after a photo of Felix was posted on his own Facebook Profile last summer and got a fair bit of interest from his friends. So Janet’s friend decided to set up a Facebook Page in Felix’s honour as something to do and a way of keeping amused on the train journey commute to and from work each day.
Initially the Page was only half set up & then abandoned but then Facebook sent a reminder which prompted Felix’s creator to continue and set up the Page completely.
Once set up the occasional photo, meme or link was posted keeping it very light hearted and entertaining.
Janet asked what Felix’s creator was hoping to achieve. Was it just a bit of fun and something to entertain?
The response was “It was just for fun, but then I’m also a bit of a nerdy geek and wanted to see how Facebook works for businesses and basically find out how it can be harnessed. It was more of an experiment than anything else.”
So when did it all become a bit too much to handle?
“The photos of Felix in her hi vis jacket started going viral around 3 weeks ago. Mashable did an article on Monday 1st Feb which was the trigger for people sharing and liking. Other online news sources all over the world picked it up and started it trending. I always used to do jokey replies to comments on the page, but this became impossible.
Messages were flying in to Felix’s inbox from all over the globe.
By the Friday of that week I had spoken to Trans Pennine Express who were taking an interest because of the coverage. By Monday 8th the pace quickened – I turned all the notifications off on the mobile app I use to manage the Page.
In the evening I added an admin from Trans Pennine Express, and deleted one of the other admins who had been helping (at her own request). The page had become something different and wasn’t as enjoyable to manage anymore.”
How have things moved on?
“Since then other Trans Pennine Express staff have been added to manage the Page and share the responsibility. All are doing a fantastic job and enjoy the interaction. I guess it’s still early days for TPEs involvement, but I can’t imagine taking it back myself now. Whilst I’m stayed on as admin, perhaps even that might go soon.”
There was never any intention of making any profit from the Page. It was just something positive for the train station, Huddersfield and cat lovers in general. Felix’s creator would never consider himself to be a cat lover. Having never had a cat as a child or now as an adult. But explained “Felix is different! I think if there are any merchandise / book deals in the future a suitable charity should benefit – chosen by the station staff who look after Felix.”
So now when a client asks us “Can you make us ‘go viral’?” We’ll be able to point to Felix and give her as an example!