The Gratitude Campaign — Learn Social Media By Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: The Gratitude Campaign

: Cause Rallying


: Facebook, Youtube, Blog

: Everyone

: Emotional

: 2007

: Ongoing

To make the “thank you” sign, all you need to do is to simply place your hand on your heart, as though you’re saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Then pull your hand down and out, bending at the elbow (not the wrist), stopping for a moment at about the belly button with your hand flat, palm up, angled toward the person you’re thanking.

About the Campaign:

Sometimes, it is hard for us to sound the words “thank you” when we feel gratitude towards those we appreciate for serving our country or community, whether they are military personnel or others. This is how the idea for this campaign began…

The campaign's symbol

The campaign was started in 2007 by Seattlite Scott Truitt as a simple way of expressing thanks to those who are serving. Word is spreading through News Articles and blog posts.

We chose this sign because it starts at the heart. So even if the receiver doesn’t know exactly what it means yet, they’ll know it comes from your heart, and that it is likely a good thing. And, although the down side is that we are not teaching anyone ASL, the up side is that we are teaching a completely unique sign, with a unique message for a unique audience.”

Campaign Buzz:

Since the campaign started as an idea and grew into an organization, the exact buzz on it could not be precisely measured. However, just by taking a look at a few statistics from the different social media channels that were used to promote this campaign, you are easily able to see that after almost 4 year, the campaign is still alive and well!

I’ll begin with Facebook. The campaign’s Facebook page has 6,158 likes dedicated to it in addition to active ongoing discussions from both the supporters and the page administrators.

A sneak peak at the campiagn's Facebook page

Moving on to the campaign’s video on Youtube, you will find more than 2,500,000 views and around 1,350 comments.

Even John Mayer blogged about this campaign on his personal blog: “This is really simple, beautiful and extremely worthwhile. Check it out. I have said thank you to men and women of the military while at the airport and the experience is always really meaningful if not a bit uncomfortable for them. I don’t think there’s a social protocol yet for saying ‘thank you’ and this really nails it. I hope this catches on.”

As for the campaign’s website, its Alexa stats is not too flattering! The same applies to the blog.

Opinion & Lessons Learned:

I must admit, I am a sucker for this kind of campaigns since I believe in their potential to bring about change. However, just as the case was for the “Free Hugs” Campaign, there should be a broader target audience; a more global one. I think that in order to really make a difference, these beautiful campaigns should be promoted on a world wide level.

So, what can we learn from this campaign?

  • Don’t limit yourself too much: Sometimes, it is better to expand your target audience by broadening the cause you are trying to promote. If this campaign was strictly aimed at showing gratitude o military people only, I think it would have not gotten the exposure it deserved.
  • Don’t neglect your blog and website: It is great to use social media channels such as Facebook and Youtube. However, it is also important to focus on promoting your website and blog, which is the place your target audience could most safely communicate with you.
  • Emotional appeal can win hearts: When you focus on emotional appeals, you are more likely to succeed because people appreciate the value of a good cause and will most often than not, support it.
  • Global rules: If your campaign idea is towards change, the more global your go, the more chances you have for it to spread and be adopted.

Finally, and to wrap up, I would like to ask you a few questions: What do you think of this campaign? Have you ever heard of it before? Would you join it?

Looking forward to your feedback down below…

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

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