A few months ago, I pondered the question of whether or not social media campaigns could actually help their causes. I cited a few grassroots campaigns that seemed sort of worthless; the what color is your bra campaign to fight breast cancer and the change your profile picture to your favorite cartoon character to stop the evils of child molestation. I argued that the use of social media could positively impact a campaign if done in the right way. This STORY about The Invisible Dog Campaign proves the point.
The Best Friends Animal Society is dedicated to finding people to adopt dogs from animal shelters, especially the “invisible dogs” or the dogs that were harder to find placements for. The Mashable article I mentioned above details how the social media campaign worked to change a digital media campaign into hard action.
Best Friends accomplished their goals in three ways, listed as beginner to intermediate, to advanced in the Mashable article.
- Best Friend’s Twitter Campaign: Best Friends consistently used the same hash tag, #invisibledog, in all of their Tweets. The constant use of the same Tweet gave people an easy way to search for information about the organization and their intentions.
- Best Friend’s Pledge Online Campaign: Best Friends made it easy for people to be able to donate online without targeting individuals directly. Just by giving people the option to donate online, 1,758 people donated online.
- Best Friend’s DogWall: Best Friends has a special location on their website where people can write their personal testimonials about their experiences with the Best Friend organization. As Mashable observes, it is scary for an organization to let outsiders control the content on their page, but the personal stories that users have shared generate more attention and credibility for the organization.
All in all, it would appear that Best Friend’s social media campaign generated success by making the web site and social media user-friendly. First, with the use of the same hash tags, people could easily find out the latest news about the Best Friend organization. Second, with the addition of a pledge button on the website itself, fans of Best Friend could easily pledge their support for the organization. Third, and finally, letting those who adopted pets through Best Friend or who were otherwise affiliated or interested in the organization share their stories gave the website a personal touch that would not have been there otherwise.