Tag Archives: social good

Learning from failure: Running a social media campaign Part 2

16 Apr

This year, I set out with a goal. It was quite simple really. All I wanted to do was raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina as part of the Duke MBA Games (and raise more than we did last year).  I thought that by using social media, I could raise awareness, and ignite passion in my followers to inspire them to donate to my cause.  I created a special Twitter handle and Facebook page for my MBA’s fundraising team to centralize our messages.  I thought, after doing all that, my teammates would assist in my efforts to raise awareness via social.  Perhaps it was a combination of my teammates lack of enthusiasm, or low interest in Special Olympics on social, I can’t be sure, but my campaign never really took off.

Before heading into this venture, I knew how to utilize twitter and implement hashtags, I knew that I should mention people that were influential in the cause (IE Special Olympics, Special Olympics of North Carolina), and influencers on campus (Syracuse University).  Some of my posts got good responses, but for the most part, there were only a handful of  people that interacted with the posts on a regular basis (including myself).  I rarely got responses from the university, or the Whitman school, even though I constantly mentioned them in my tweets. More often, I got interactions from the Special Olympics of North Carolina or Duke MBA Games.  Below are some key highlights.

april 11 tweet april 3 tweets march 19 tweet April 7 tweet april 1 tweet

In terms of Facebook, the key was getting people to like the page.  I thought that my classmates, especially those who were on the team in the past, would immediately like the page.  I was surprised to learn that very few of them took the effort to click “like”, even though it was such a simple thing.  Although many more of my interactions took place on Facebook, I thought they would reach a larger audience, with more people sharing, liking and commenting on my posts.

I had high hopes when starting.  I believed in the power of social media, and thought that I could use it to reach out to others who believed in this cause and encourage them to donate.  Perhaps, due to my naivete, I wasn’t fully prepared to handle what I was trying to do.  I also believed my school and teammates would be more involved in the effort, and would help try to spread the word on social.  Keeping people updated on what we are doing and our fundraising progress is what I would think people would what to see when donating to a cause.

Key learnings:

  • Have a plan, before starting on social
  • Reach out to key influencers to amplify message – create digital street team
  • Post multiple times a day, on multiple platforms, to remain top of mind – people don’t always see the post the first time
  • Create a campaign, not just messages, to create support

Although I essentially “failed” at running my first social cause campaign, I have learned what ‘not to do’.  In many ways, I believe that is just as – or more important – than running a successful campaign.  When doing something wrong, the lessons stick with you more, because you don’t want to fail again.  When you succeed, although you want to succeed again, you don’t know what it feels like to fail.  In a way, this might be the bigger win, and I’m glad it happened.

What I learned running a Social Media campaign, Part One

16 Jan

team whitmanThis year I created, and managed, the social media platforms for the fundraising efforts of the Whitman Team for the Duke MBA Games. I believed that utilizing the power of Social Media would amplify our message, and would help our team gain more donations from outside the Whitman and Syracuse community. This experience has taught me more than any classroom exercise.

I started my efforts by writing an email to the school’s daily newspaper, The Daily Orange, telling them of our efforts, and of the launch of our social media platforms. Additionally, every tweet mentioned Syracuse University or the Whitman School, and all used the hashtag Special Olympics or DukeMBAGames. My goal was that anyone who followed that hashtag (mostly the Special Olympics, or any of the state Special Olympic boards), would see the tweets, and start following our handle, and retweet us.

I didn’t realize how difficult it was to gain followers if you aren’t a known business or cause. Additionally, without the assistance of the school paper or other news outlets on campus publicizing our efforts, most of the school community never knew of our efforts, either this year or last year. Even worse, we won last years games, and the majority of the campus never knew.

dec 4 tweetOur first fundraising event of the year was a ’70s themed ice skating event at the Syracuse University Ice Rink. In addition to making flyers, which were put up around campus, I advertised and reached out through social media. Using both the Whitman Duke Games Twitter account, and my personal account, I tweeted at the University, the Special Olympics of North Carolina, Newhouse, and other Syracuse accounts, using the hashtags #DukeMBAGames and/or #SpecialOlympics. By using these hashtags, my goal was that other universities would start to use them, and by the Duke MBA Games, one of them would trend. The ice skating event raised over $200, which we were very pleased about.

Jan 5 Syracue

After the ice skating event, I continued to reach out to the University to through social media, promoting our fundraising activities, the Duke MBA Games, and our donation page. In early January, the Syracuse University Twitter handle didn’t just retweet, but tweeted about the Duke Games (of course after I had tweeted at them).

I am still managing both the Twitter and Facebook pages for the Whitman Team, and will be until the Duke MBA Games in April. As I continue through the rest of the year, I am optimistic that we will gain a larger social media presence, which will increase our fundraising efforts. Additionally, as I continue through this process, I am sure I will continue to fail and I learn what doesn’t work, but I am sure I will succeed as well as I learn what does.

WHITMAN TEAM – DUKE MBA GAMES
Syracuse, NY, November 2012 – April 2013
Social Media/Community Manager: Syracuse University’s team to raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. Created and managed the Twitter and Facebook pages for the Whitman team. From the social media pages, created awareness throughout the Syracuse University community.

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