United Nations Foundation Launches Shot@Life Campaign with a Heavy Dose of Social Media
Today the UN Foundation is launching the Shot@life campaign during World Immunization Week to “educate, connect and empower Americans to save the lives of children in developing countries by supporting global vaccine funding.”
Through a well-designed social media campaign, Shot@Life’s messages will be communicated from Monday, April 23rd through Friday, April 27th, through an integrated approach that maximizes the benefits of social media. The campaign encourages participants to spend 15 minutes or less each day during World Immunization Week to help spread the word about the importance of global vaccines to give every child a shot at a healthy life.
For social media beginners and enthusiasts alike, the Shot@Life campaign offers insights into the strength of social networking platforms and is a great model for marketers in the public and private sectors who are looking for creative ways to develop a social media campaign.
Shot@Life’s communication strategy employs written posts and updates, photos and videos and encourages the use of a number of platforms and components including: blog carnival, Facebook, Twitter Party, Flickr, Pinterest, 15 second videos recorded with Tout, a smartphone video app, bitly shortened url, SMS text message abbreviated words, infographic and a list of prepared statement/updates which can be shared easily on Twitter and Facebook.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the campaign and are pleased also to welcome Elise Glaum, Online Communications Associate at the United Nations Foundation, to GigCoin who has taken time out of her busy schedule in a Q & A.
A Closer Look at the Shot@Life Campaign
1. Online Participation Guide
Shot@Life developed a document, Shot@Life Launch Online Participant Guide, to guide interested participants through a week-long calendar of social media events from Monday April 23rd through Friday April 27th. In addition to the daily listings, the guide includes sample Facebook and Twitter updates with information about vaccines, Shot@life, and how to act now.
The guide is a great tool to help get participants on the same page, introduce them to messages and tags. While participants can still be as creative as they’d like, the guide makes it easy and efficient for users to get involved.
2. Blog Carnival
To get the campaign started, Shot@Life has encouraged bloggers to submit posts on Monday April 23rd to the shot@life blog carnival where posts will be featured throughout Immunization week.
Blog carnivals are defined as “a particular kind of blog community. There are many kinds of blogs, and they contain articles on many kinds of topics. Blog Carnivals typically collect together links pointing to blog articles on a particular topic. A Blog Carnival is like a magazine. It has a title, a topic, editors, contributors, and an audience. Editions of the carnival typically come out on a regular basis (e.g. every monday, or on the first of the month). Each edition is a special blog article that consists of links to all the contributions that have been submitted, often with the editors opinions or remarks.
3. Twitter Party
Shot@Life is hosting a Twitter Party on Thursday, April 26 from 9am – 12pm ET via #vaccineswork. The Twitter party will be projected on screens at the national launch event at the Georgia Aquarium and across the country on billboards in select cities.
A twitter party is defined as “a fast and fun virtual party, using the twitter platform. Usually held in the evening, twitter parties typically last 1-2 hours and are a wonderful way for people to connect and discuss a topic of choice. Most twitter parties have an expert panelist and party host to keep the party on topic.”
“Twitter users tweet with a specified Hashtag (#) for the party. The party host will announce the hashtag prior to the event. If you look at the twitter party calendar, parties are listed by the hashtag (#). Users use their tweet chat client to search for the hashtag and join in the conversation.”
Shot@life has set up photo albums on Flickr and encouraging participants to “choose a photo from the Honduras, Myanmar or Mozambique album. Post the picture on Facebook and Twitter along with a caption that says your wish for that child.”
Shot@Life has crafted 12 Facebook Messages that participants can use in conjunction with photos from the Flickr photo album. The messages vary in character length. And because Facebook has a much larger limit on characters, allowing up to 63,206 characters per update (compared to Twitter’s 140 character limit), Shot@life is able to say a lot in these messages. For example one update is 434 characters (a good length):
“Around the world, some moms walk as far as 15 miles to reach lifesaving vaccines for their children. They know the power of vaccines and are willing to walk miles to get them. We should be willing to take the necessary steps here in the US to make vaccines easier to access. The healthy futures of millions of children depend on it. Are you willing to take the necessary steps? Like this post and join Shot@Life at www.shotatlife.org”
In addition to the Twitter Party that Shot@life is hosting they have crafted 21 Messages that include facts and figures, use of hashtag #vaccineswork, via @shotatlife, and creative use of updates such as a quiz. To conserve on the number of characters they are using the bitly url shortener which is a great choice since not only can you shorten the url but you can also track and analyze your links.
7. SMS Text Message Abbreviated Words
When you’re faced with the challenge of conserving character space it’s sometimes necessary to abbreviate words where you can. One example that shot@life has used is “Ur” instead of the word “your”. Looking to abbreviate? Check-out common abbreviated words.
8. Tout Video App
Shot@life has encouraged users to use the smartphone app, Tout, to record a 15 second video and share on Facebook and Twitter mentioning @shotatlife and tag #vaccineswork. Tout is a great choice since it’s a free ios and android app that links easily to a user’s Twitter and Facebook profiles and makes sharing videos very easy.
Shot@life has created a creative way to ask for donations with an example of how to convince friends, and an easy to use donation page: “Take a picture of something that you recently spent $20 on and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Convince them that $20 really isn’t all that much. Ask your friends to help Shot@Life reach our fundraising goal by Mother’s Day! The clock is ticking! Donate now: http://shotatlife.org/donate.”
10. Photos with Instagram App
Shot@life has also encouraged the use of Instagram a popular smartphone photo app to take photos.
Shot@life has encouraged the use of Pinterest for pinning your photos:
“Are you on Pinterest? Pin your photo and tag Shot@Life.”
12. Crowdrise Online Fundraising Site
Shot@life has recommended use of Crowdrise with this message: “Get credit for your friends’ donations! Start a Crowdrise page! http://www.crowdrise.com/shotlife/fundraiser/unfoundation.”
Infographics are an excellent way to visually represent information and are shared on a number of social media platforms. Shot@life has recommended that participants share the infographic, The Power of Vaccines on Twitter:
“[Infographic] The Power of Vaccines via @shotatlife! Did u know vaccines save 2.5 million lives a yr? #vaccineswork http://bit.ly/ydtVvd”
Q & A with Elise Glaum, Online Communications Associate at the United Nations Foundation
How long has the planning for the Shot@Life Social Media campaign been in the works?
The majority of the Shot@Life campaign social media channels were in full force by September 2011 in time for our soft launch of the campaign at UN Foundation and Mashable’s Social Good Summit. The planning started in early 2011.
What was it about a multifaceted social media campaign that most appealed to Shot@Life?
We knew the power of social media could be used to build and activate a grassroots movement. The power of these platforms allows individuals to get active and help deliver vaccines to children who need them the most.
What advice would you give to other non-profits?
Don’t be scared to try new things, and develop an online personality. We try to use our team along with moms who work at the UN Foundation to build a personality that fits our target audience. We’re working with rock star moms and helping really cute babies – there’s nothing boring about us!
How many staff people will it take to monitor the shot@life social media campaign?
We have an online team of about 8 people who will be providing support as we launch this campaign over the next week.
What metrics/analytics tools will you use to measure its effectiveness and success?
Google analytics, Thrive, HootSuite, Convio, Facebook and Twitter analytics, as well as bit.ly link tracker. We’re measuring the success of each of our ad placements. For donations, we’re measuring how our donors find out about us to report back to partners. We also have surveys for our partners to report back on what they do to help promote us online. It’s a lot of numbers, but the analytics really help tell the story.
Will you be reporting on your findings?
Our findings will be shared with our friends and partners as well as organizations that have offered us pro-bono advertisements. We are also happy to share information with others about the success of our campaign.
Thank you, Elise and we wish you all the best of luck!
Shot@life is a great case study on the use of social media for communicating information, raising awareness and fund-raising, and offers great ideas for your next campaign.
While we’re at it, we’ll do our part too by encouraging GigCoin readers to head on over to the participant’s guide and help bring awareness to global vaccines, tweet a few messages, spread the word on Facebook, or the other myriad ways that you can participate in the campaign. And of course, donations to @shotatlife, #vaccinesweek cause will be most appreciated, too.
What can you take-away from the Shot@Life social media campaign? And, what will you do to help spread the word about the importance of global vaccines? Share your comments in the space below.