In 2012 I helped staff the social media “war room” for Super Bowl XLVI – the most socially connected sporting event up to that point. From a room overlooking Super Bowl Village, 20-30 social media volunteers and professionals monitored 100s of geo-tagged keywords, and offered advice, support, and a little humor to the thousands of people visiting our city. The concept was to show our guests Hoosier hospitality in the virtual world as well as on our streets.

A year and a half later, I once again found myself in a social media war room – this time for a #GivingTuesday campaign. Admittedly, the room was a little less glossy, neither CBS nor ESPN stopped by to take a tour, and instead of 20-30 people, we had 3 people, but the concept was the same: get people excited about what we do and how we do it.

Our Giving Tuesday strategy was simple: Be ready. Be real. Be responsive.

And everything we did encompassed that strategy.

Be Ready.

We started implementing our Giving Tuesday campaign well before Giving Tuesday. While social media was going to be the largest communications channel for the day, we employed newsletters, website, and employee talking points to generate excitement and build anticipation. We used fun imagery coupled with compelling stories to share our mission.

Be Real.

We wanted our Giving Tuesday campaign to look like a community movement. We spent months cultivating a social media “street team” – filled with social media influencers – who were committed to our mission and excited to help support our cause. We lined up corporate partners to donate tweets and pics throughout the day. We even had a prize pack donated for one randomly selected supporter

Be Responsive.

We designed our Giving Tuesday campaign as a social media blitz. Our war room was set-up at the center of our office, so anyone who walked through could check it out. We had five screens monitoring nine social media handles over three social networks, a photo booth where staff and visiting volunteers could take and share “unselfies,” and we used dry erase markers on the room’s windows to share updates, quotes, and dollars raised.

The results of our inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign exceeded all of our goals and the organization committed to participating again in 2014.

This year I’ll be an observer (and an advocate) and I look forward to seeing what they do. And I may swing by their war room, just for old time’s sake.

Ready for December 3rd? Here are some handy #GivingTuesday resources!

Photo Cred: GivingTuesday.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Holly Elizabeth Herbert is the best practices manager for Blackbaud’s eTapestry team. She works with nonprofit clients to optimize their fundraising and public relations efforts through the application of database technology. Holly has more than a decade of experience working in nonprofit PR and fundraising and brings a passion for metrics-driven, donor-centric strategies to her work at Blackbaud. Holly has a Master’s degree in Public Relations from Indiana University and has worked on PR campaigns for local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations. In her free time, Holly is an avid urban dweller and glitter aficionado. Connect with Holly on Twitter at @hollyeherbert.

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