A few months ago, the team at Catholic Extension came up with a genius way of building excitement for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the United States—Flat Francis. Like Flat Stanley before him, Flat Francis has traveled the globe and back and thousands of pictures have poured in across social media of people posing with their Flat Francis
Last week Flat Francis made it all the way to the Vatican and actually got to meet the Pope himself, not a bad feat for a cartoon paper cutout. The video of the Pope and his paper counterpart meeting has now been seen by thousands, proving that simple social marketing ideas do work when executed properly.
So what did Catholic Extension do that we can learn from?
Lesson #1: Catch the Coattails:
Pope Francis’ trip to America is a HUGE deal and something that already has Catholics across the country excited. Flat Francis built on that excitement and gave people a chance to be involved.
Now it’s not always possible to tie your campaign to something as big as a papal visit but chances are there is an event or season you can build off of and tie your brand into. This can be as simple as asking people to take a picture of what they’re thankful for and posting it to your page for Thanksgiving.
Lesson # 2: Be Inclusive and Use Multiple Channels
Flat Francis pictures can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by emailing the images and having the Catholic Extension staff post them instead. People can submit multiple images and group shots are encouraged.
A lot of organizations limit their campaigns to a single channel which can potentially exclude people from participating. By opening up your campaign to multiple social media channels, you cater to your audience and your participants may also choose to participate on more than one channel.
Lesson #3: Keep it Simple:
With Flat Francis, there are no flaming hoops to jump through and no forms to fill out. People simply take pictures and share them on social media—something they already do everyday.
When building your own campaigns, keep it simple. Ask your audience to take a picture, share an idea, or answer a question. If you ask people to do something more complicated or always require them to fill out a long form, they’re a lot less likely to participate.
What are your tips for running a successful social media campaign? Share your ideas in the comments.