By Andy Sernovitz on June 23rd, 2011 | 165561 comment on this postAndy%26%23039%3Bs+Answers%3A+How+USA+TODAY+used+Twitter+to+make+charity+cooler+than+Justin+Bieber2011-06-23+11%3A10%3A06Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2Fsocialmedia%2F%3Fp%3D16556
A lot of brands launch charity campaigns through social channels, but few generate the success that USA TODAY did with their #AmericaWants project that gave a full-page ad to a charity chosen by fans.
In just four days, USA TODAY generated 60,000 tweets in support of more than 500 charities and became a trending topic at three different times — even knocking the ever-present Justin Bieber out of the trending list at one point.
At our recent BlogWell in Washington, D.C., USA TODAY’s Glenna DeRoy walked us through how they pulled this off. A few of her key takeaways:
- Make it simple for people to participate. The only thing users had to do participate was tweet this phrase “#AmericaWants (name of charity) to get a full-page ad in USA TODAY.” This short length also made all the tweets easy to retweet.
- In a charity project, look for a universal cause. DeRoy said one of the reasons of their campaign’s success was its universal appeal — because everyone has a cause they believe in.
- Work with legal and IT from the beginning. DeRoy stressed how helpful her legal team was in setting the rules of the contest, as well as how critical of a role IT played in making it possible to track the contest and ultimately pick a winner.
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