Posted by: In: Social Media 17 Jun 2013 Comments: 0 Tags: , , ,

By: Amanda Lehner

Facebook Ads

When I first started using Facebook for nonprofits in 2007, I had a big selling point. “It’s practically free,” I would declare, standing in front of my big projected slide entitled “Why Facebook?” “And you can get an intern to manage it, as they are young and understand social media.”

Oh how things have changed. Yet some nonprofits still subscribe to this theory (mostly out of necessity), we’re learning fast that if you want to truly use the power of social to achieve big goals, the days of the scrimpy social media budgets are behind us.

I attribute this shift to the need for an ad buy and skilled content production. Facebook has taken many of the old tactics off the table — giveaways, tagging partners to show up on their page — to name a few. Facebook is designed to sell ads.

It’s also designed to favor good content. The most liked/shared content is flagged by the Facebook algorithm which then gives it better placement in the newsfeed. But if you want to build a base in months, instead of a glacial rise in likes over several years, you have no choice but to buy ads – a lot of them.

Some say likes aren’t everything and that the relationship building lies in the engagement. Firstly, if you’re one of those people, please call HelpGood because we want to work with you. Secondly, because the likes are the number that everyone can see, this has many implications:

  • This is the number an outcome-focused organization will include in their KPIs.

  • This number signals a relevance to the consumer. One is more likely to join the party that is in full swing.

  • The more likes, the larger the reach, the higher the engagement. Period.

  • There is a like tipping point (around 10,000) that once you reach, the rate of growth moves along faster. Those first 1,000 likes are the hardest to get, and you will have to work for them.

Now that it’s 2013, everyone’s on Facebook and “Why Facebook?” is no longer a slide in my road show. It’s been replaced by “Why Facebook Ads?” and an old adage that I’m not happy to reinforce — you get nothing in this world for free.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 18 Nov 2012 Comments: 0 Tags: , , , , , ,

This is a great PSA and may be one of the most effective ones ever based on the number of social shares alone.  It addresses a serious issue – safety – in a fun and spot on way for Australian Metro.

Dumb Ways to Die:The weirdest ad I’ve ever seen

You Can Haz Meme


HelpGood’s Michael Bellavia contributed a post to the Ad Council’s Adlibbing blog regarding memes and how to leverage them. In particular the post talks to how the Smokey Bear campaign has made use of memes to connect with a younger audience and spread his wildfire prevention message.

Since late 2011, HelpGood led various social media tactics for the Bedsider campaign.  The campaign aims to reduce the amount of unplanned pregnancies by educating women and helping them find the method of birth control that’s right for them.  The campaign is run by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the Ad Council.

Our work on the Bedsider campaign coincided with a huge increase in highly-charged, politicizing of conversation around birth control.  From the Komen Foundation’s de-funding and re-funding of Planned Parenthood to the Republican presidential nominee race to Rush Limbaugh’s inflammatory statements, birth control was a very active topic of social conversation.

Recently Bedsider even released a three part video series in partnership with Funny or Die called “After Last Night.”  The series follows two male friends and two female friends the next day after a party and their journey to figure out what happened the night before (and if they had used birth control)!

HelpGood has helped the campaign since November, and has had a huge impact and influence on the project:

During that time, Bedsider grew:

  • Over 1,500 new likes on Facebook
  • Over 5,500 views on the Confessions App
  • Over 2,740 views on the Method Explorer App
  • Nearly 1,000 fans on Twitter

Another Friday, another Smokey meme.

Smokey Bear Statue

As part of the campaign to commemorate the Ad Council’s 70th birthday, HelpGood developed a “Rosify Yourself” application that lives on the Ad Council’s Facebook page. Since 1942, the Ad Council has been creating memorable campaigns aimed at improving the lives of the American people. With the Facebook app, fans of the Ad Council can upload a photo of themselves and insert it into the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” poster, thus becoming riveters for social change.

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After fans have created their own Rosie the Riveter poster, they are able to share it to their wall on Facebook, save the image to their computer, and even print out a copy.  The app already made an appearance on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and Ann Curry being Rosified. There was actually a real live Rosie on the Rockefeller Center plaza along with Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog.

HelpGood designed and developed the app in Adobe Flash and integrated into the Ad Council Facebook page using Buddy Media’s iFrame sapplet. HelpGood also installed a Rosie themed page fangate which encourages people to like the page to get more exclusive content.

You can find the full press release here.

Recently HelpGood released a compilation video Stuff Smokey Says, a parody of the recent popular internet video meme.  The “Sh*t ____ Say” meme has generated a ton of offshoot versions with many having some NSFW titles, content and language.

The Smokey Bear version is decidedly very SFW though.  This video features every version of Smokey Bear from all his PSAs over the years, from the very first 2D animated Smokey in black and white to the most recent CGI 3D Smokey.

Video is a key component in the content mix when it comes to leveraging social media.  Using video not only makes sharing your information more entertaining, but it creates a more intimate experience for the audience as well.  Piggybacking on memes can also be a fun way to keep your brand participating in the conversation.

Like Don Crowther says, “you can get so much more of your brand across via a video than you ever can via text.”

HelpGood always looks to find engaging ways to grab attention and get them more involved in a campaign.  YouTube videos are great because after viewing your content, people can share their thoughts and ideas with each other through the comments section, potentially roping in new folks to join the conversation.

You create content hoping it will be consumed, embraced and shared by your fans.  But what happens when the content you produce is shared by the “opposite side”?

Recently much has been made of the Girl Scouts inclusive policy allowing transgendered children to participate.  The policy inspired the (unfortunate) photo above from and it inspired a well-spoken girl to speak not so well of the Girl Scouts in the video below.  We’re in support of young women sharing their voices, but we’re not in support of discrimination.

What we’ve found at HelpGood is that most of the sharers of the content have been from the opposite camp – the anti-target audience.  The UGC pieces have had the exact opposite effect from the content creators’ intentions. The content sharers we’ve interacted with have doubled down in their support of the Girl Scouts and are committing to buy cookies in support of the standing policy of non-discrimination.  It’s a compelling example of how any piece of user generated content can be co-opted by the other team to rally troops in defense.

Like one of our followers said, “Who can resist a thin mint?”

We at HelpGood can’t. If you’re a Girl Scout selling cookies – let us know, because we’re buying. And we’re buying what your organization stands for.

Here’s a nice blogger success story.


HelpGood helped The Shelter Pet Project connect with bloggers to promote their new campaign.  The funny PSAs really resonated earning great participation from bloggers helping to spread the campaign across the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr and more.  In just a few weeks our social media agency was able to generate

3 million impressions

Great traction with bloggers in key categories

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