How do you reach people who are not online, online? Through others, and this is the power of social media. Of course, we like messaging people directly on Facebook and Twitter, but the magic is in the share. Which is essentially our three favorite letters—WOM. The Ad Council's digital literacy campaign, EveryoneOn, seeks to raise awareness of digital literacy trainings in the community and then asks digitally savvy friends to connect someone in need to the trainings and the benefits of the Internet.
HelpsGood (the social agency on the campaign)set out to achieve the following:
1. Build a base of likely supporters, focusing on libraries, training centers, and other close campaign partners. Capturing the quick wins first helps to create buzz as the natural supporters are more likely to share with their networks.
2. Create a community before the big PSA launch event.
3. Engage the base with relevant content, praise and entertainment. Disseminating campaign messaging and call to actions are very important. Yet it's equally as important to build relationships with partners by fulfilling their online call to actions. We also aren't afraid of having a little fun with posts on cats and ponies.
4. Activate the community on launch day to help bring people online and encourage the community to share their stories.
Of all the strategies above, I think creating a community before the launch is key when thinking about the capabilities of social to spread the word. So now, when the biggest announcement and best content is ready, we're posting to over 10,000 supporters and not a handful of friends. Conversely, those who encounter the campaign through non-social channels will get on Facebook and Twitter and see the party is in full swing.
Amanda Lehner is a Digital Strategist and Producer at HelpsGood, a full-service digital agency with a focus on social good. Prior to joining HelpsGood, Amanda was the Director of Interactive Services at the Ad Council where she was responsible for website development, project management, social media and other interactive projects for Ad Council's PSA campaigns. In 2007, Amanda was the Online Communications Manager at SAMHSA's National Suicide Prevention Lifeline where she managed Lifeline's websites, social media presence and online crisis messages.