Donate twitter characters virtually for a good cause

It is increasingly important for organizations to have an active social media account. But in order for social media to generate results, the organization must build a gathering of followers. There are a lot of examples of creative PR campaigns which have used twitter as the main tool of communication when trying to gather as many followers as possible.

Kentucky Fried Chicken launched a campaign where they offered a $ 20,000 scholarship for the best tweet that described why the candidate should receive it. To enter the competition the candidates had to follow KFC on twitter and include the hashtag #KFCScholar in their tweet.  This generated a huge number of new followers.

When you are an established organization, with a twitter account that have many followers, there’s no limit for the amount of creativity that can go into your campaign. One organization that is very active on their social media platforms is the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. On their twitter account they actively engage in conversation, and thus they’ve build up a strong base of followers. This enabled them to launch  a campaign that raised awareness of Fair Trade Day. Ben & Jerry created a campaign that cleverly took advantage of the fact that twitter-users seldom use all 140 characters to produce a tweet. Ben & Jerry therefore created what they call “fair tweets”, where they use the remaining characters to promote Fair Trade Day with messages, hashtags and links. Depending on how long the tweet is, Ben & Jerry’s Fair Tweet App automatically provides a message to fill in the space that is left.

This is just one example of how twitter can be used to build a creative PR campaign.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Donate twitter characters virtually for a good cause

  1. I agree that creativity can take you far and I really like the examples that you give. I would say that there is a limit to creativity as well. If you forget what your organisation does, creativity will not be your friend. A good example of this is McDonald’s that recently screwed up with their #McDStories twitter campaign. Take a look, it’s quite funny: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/24/mcdonalds-mcdstories-twitter-campaign-fails-_n_1226811.html

  2. This is a really interesting example of how social media can be used for CSR. I think what is especially effective is that the presentation of this campaign is consistent with their adverts on TV. Therefore, rather than being a new idea, this twitter campaign is simply building on an ethos they have already presented through traditional media. It’s success and creativity show how important it is for businesses synchronise their traditional and social media.

    ‘Donating your tweets’ is an interesting way to gain awareness for certain movements as it doesn’t require a huge amount of effort or inconvenience to do it. Donating your account however… ? https://twitter.com/#!/donateuraccount

  3. Converged Media provide businesses and organizations with great tools in order to achieve engagement and publicity. That’s a fact. The key issue, however is to find the ‘golden mean’ between the platforms and the strategy that needs to be followed.

    Nowadays, nonprofit organisations have turned to Pinterest, for further help. Pinterest provides the tool of the power of images and organization can take advantage of the latter in order to share organization’s vision, garner support, fundraise and get volunteers.

    Here are some useful advices if you are interest in the subject :
    http://mashable.com/2012/03/02/pinterest-strategies-non-profits/

  4. Angela

    I loved your examples of twitter donations. KFC’s ethical bribe or incentive is a good way for companies to gain some positive PR. Ben and Jerrys managed to promote their brand in a positive manor focusing on their most ethical products as we know not all of their products are fair trade yet. Although they are now 100% fair trade in Europe they won’t be 100% fair-trade globally till 2013. http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/press_office/press_releases_and_statements/february_2010/ben_jerrys_big_swap_to_fairtrade_for_fairtrade_fortnight.aspx

    They have also used this campaign to divert attention from their removal of “all natural” from their packaging although interestingly it remains in their mission statement.

    http://benjerry.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/376/kw/are%20all%20your%20products%20fair%20trade proves an excellent example on how to transfer negative criticism in a proactive manor. Of course they also do lots of other very good things in terms of CSR such as having employees involved in the allocation of community action grants.
    As Claire points out one of the reasons we know these campaigns have been successful is the volume of people copying the technique. While this copycatting should be flattering it signals the end of its USP. The more people use it the less people will notice and the less dramatic the impact.

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