USA Today’s #AmericaWants Twitter Campaign — Learn Social Media By Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: USA Today's #America Wants Twitter Campaign

: Products and services

: Twitter

: Charitable & Non-Profit Organizations

: Charity & prize (a full-page, full-color ad in USA Today, valued at $189,400)

: 13-16 April, 2010

: 4 days

USA Today

USA Today

USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the paper has 1.9 million copies as of October 2009. USA Today remains the widest circulated print newspaper in the United States.

Idea & Objectives:

The #AmericaWants hashtag contest was conceived by Social Media strategist Alex Nicholson as part of USA Today’s larger “What America Wants” brand campaign, designed to illustrate USA Today’s connection with the American experience and readers’ engagement with the brand on multiple media platforms.

The charity that had the most retweets of the message “#AmericanWants [charity name] to get a full-page ad in USA TODAY” with its name in the tweet between Tuesday, April 13 and Friday, April 16 was declared the victor.

Who’s the lucky winner? An anti-depression non-profit organization: To Write Love on her Arms:

USA TODAY’s Kindness community is thrilled to announce that To Write Love on Her Arms (TWOLHA), a non-profit dedicated to helping people with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide came out on top with the most tweets in our #AmericaWants Twitter campaign for charity“!

Buzz Generated:

All in all, users posted more than 60,000 tweets in support of more than 500 organizations. The tweets reached an estimated 67 million users on Twitter, according to data collected by Radian6.

USAToday #AmericaWants - Google search

USAToday #AmericaWants - Google search

Opinion & Lessons Learned:

In my opinion, this campaign’s success relied heavily in the good reputation and credibility of USA Today.

But what else played a role in this campaign’s success?

Simple + quick + charitable + rewarding = ingredients for a great and effective campaign:

  1. Short-lived and straight forward campaigns have the power to attract and maintain attention. Depending on the type of your campaign, sometimes it is best to have a quick “in and out” strategy in order to achieve the results you are aiming for.
  2. A simple campaign, which utilizes one social media channel, can have the same outcomes as one which utilizes more than one channel! It is not always about quantity, quality counts as well!
  3. It is hard to say no to participating in charity-based campaigns! People want to give and be part of a better world.
  4. Rewards, in general, have the power to drive more people to a campaign. Rewards should be studied according to the needs and characteristics of the target audience in order to be effective and alluring!

Finally, I’d like to ask you a few questions: Did you hear about this campaign? What do you think of it? Would you have considered supporting it or being a part of it?

Looking forward to hearing your comments down below…

: 4/5
: 5/5
: 3/5
: No
: 3/5

Comments and Reactions

  • M.Bamieh

    How did they promote for this campaign? only through their twitter account?

  • Andy @ FirstFound

    Was this done solely through Twitter, or was there off-site promotion too?

    It's a great achievement either way, but if they were pushing it through their website, it'd drive more traffic and skew the results a bit.

  • Beiruta

    From my research, it was mainly a Twitter campaign with help from big social media blogs such as Mashable.

    I guess they chose Twitter in order to control the feedback :)

  • Katie Morse

    Hey there from Radian6!

    I did hear about the campaign on Twitter – not just once but multiple times. I'm really interested to see how USA Today continues to push the boundaries using social tools. Thanks for the wrap-up!

    Community Manager | Radian6

  • Amer Kawar

    Hey Katie,

    Interesting campaign indeed.

    Working at Radian6, are there any interesting campaigns that you can point us towards to review?

    At Thoughtpick blog, we are trying to review as many interesting campaigns in order to create single place on the web that people interested in social media can learn from other campaigns by example rather than reading abstract points of dos and don'ts.

    You can contact me via the contact us page.

    Cheers :)

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