Social marketing campaigns are the life blood of any social cause. Social media alone has been responsible for some of the biggest and most successful campaigns of our time. The power of social media is that not only can you touch so many lives, you can get them involved on a more personal level. Here are a few campaigns that were based on social or awareness-building causes that truly define the power of social marketing:
1. Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign
President Obama’s presidential campaign was one of the most effective use of a social media marketing seen in recent times. Although this was not directly promoting a social cause, the underlying messsages were about building awareness around social and political issues.
The marketing team for Obama’s presidential campaign identified the youth as their target audience, and saw that most of them were online. The youth wanted change and that’s what the Obama campaign stood for.
Their first step was to make an official website that was not only visually appealing but easy to navigate and full of information about Obama; his ideologies and vision for change. A visit to the website left visitors identifying with the man running for president. They could relate to him. They could feel for the cause. They wanted change. The website also had a blog which is updated regularly and since comments are allowed, it invites people to interact.
They utilized popular social media outlets effectively and as a result raised more awareness and supporters. Obama’s YouTube channel has over 175000 subscribers, 6,470,000 Facebook supporters and 1,783,000 twitter followers. Here is another incredibly interesting series of Ads that were launched to support the campaign – Don’t vote. Really? Well there you have it, thats your social proof.
2. Twestival for Charity: Water
When the first tweet about the Twestival for Charity Water went live, no one thought that a campaign raising awareness about clean drinking water will gain such momentum.
On Febuary 12th, 2009, over 200 international cities held the Twestival (twitter + festival) which was organized solely through twitter. The aim was to raise awareness and funds for the global water crisis through the event.
The interesting thing is that a lot of people didn’t even know that the rest of the world was facing water shortages until they participated in this event.
The Twestival for Charity Water raised $250,000 and so far over 55 wells have been built and over 17000 people served. Whoever said Twitter is a useless tool should think again.
3. Best Job in the World
The tourism board for Australia advertised the job of a ‘Caretaker’ for Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia and called their marketing campaign ‘The Best Job in the World’.
The job offered a 6 month contract worth AUD $150,000 and involved touring and promoting Queensland and Hamilton Island as a tourist attraction.
The campaign received over 34,000 applicant video entries from 200 countries. The winner was announced on July 1st and has been touring Queensland, chronicling his touring through video blogging, writing, twittering and sharing pictures through Flickr.
One result of this phenomenally successful social media campaign is that a local airline has started direct flights from Sydney to otherwise unknown Hamilton Island. I admit, ‘The Best Job in the World’ may not be a good example of social media for social change, but it certainly represents a great change in lifestyle. Sign me up any day!
4. The Dove Self Esteem Fund
As a beauty product company, Dove recognized that its target market was disgruntled with the common perception of beauty and did not believe that they could achieve the results promised by the company.
In response, they released a new ad campaign that empathized with them and started A Campaign for Real Beauty’ which aimed to raise self esteem of women.
Their campaign identified with women all over and it gained widespread appreciation. Their ad on YouTube has been viewed over 240,000 times.
The aim of The Dove Self Esteem Fund is to create thought provoking ads, esteem building programs and messages that embrace all definitions of beauty”. They’ve helped 3.5 million people so far and aim to help 5 million by 2010. While the primary goal of this campaign is to sell more products, it’s great that Dove is taking on the challenge of shifting public perception of beauty away from unrealistic, anorexic, and airbrushed ideals to a perception of beauty that is more inclusive of the rest of us.
5. Epic Change
Epic Change wanted to raise funds for building a classroom in Tanzania. Their aim was to raise $10k in 48 hours through social media outlets such as twitter and blog posts.
The campaign was organized by Social Media gurus Chris Brogan and Bryan Eisenberg. The campaign started around Halloween and used the ‘giving’ spirit of the holiday season to help raise funds for its cause.
The campaign was made interesting through a ‘Trick or Tweet’ catch where there were rules for people choosing either option. Not only were they able to raise money, they’ve become a growing community for social work.