I have decided to team up with Ellyn to help her tackle her list of nonprofit social media marketing examples. For our next post in the social media nonprofit series, I wanted to highlight a campaign by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that I discovered after receiving an email from a friend asking me to sign a petition against animal cruelty. As I researched the topic on the HSUS website, I noticed their social media campaign against the major restaurant chain, IHOP. HSUS is attempting to persuade IHOP to use cage-free eggs like their competitors and are gaining support through various social media outlets.
I started my research on the Facebook fan page. When you click on the HSUS Facebook fan page, an â€œIHOPâ€ page pops up featuring this campaign. Fans can view a video of the harsh treatment of animals by IHOPâ€™s egg supplier. They can then take action by signing an online petition, joining the FB cause, commenting on IHOPâ€™s fan page, etc. The IHOP tab, however, is only one part of the fan page. Although HSUS regularly updates their wall with links to upcoming events and links to articles pertaining to their overall mission, the fan page is lacking discussion and interaction between supporters. It would be interesting to see a Discussion tab added to see where others stand on the issues and why they support the cause. Fans can comment on the posts made by HSUS but cannot post their own topics on the wall.
On the HSUS MySpace page supporters can grab a widget to â€œtake actionâ€ and/or sign the petition against cruel battery cages. This widget can be placed on their own MySpace and Facebook profiles so that all of their friends can see that they support this cause. The MySpace page also features the undercover investigation video.
Looking at the MySpace page more closely, we see blog entries, a Flickr slideshow featuring photos from the organization and widgets. There is also a place to download Carrie Underwoodâ€™s song â€œHome Sweet Homeâ€ from iTunes, which donates money to HSUS. Overall, this page seems cluttered and is not as user-friendly as the Facebook fan page. It would be helpful to organize the page differently and eliminate the noise. The page has so much going on that it takes a long time to load, and the comments section is not being used to encourage discussion but for people to post irrelevant content. Some monitoring of content would be beneficial.
More Social Media…
The Humane Society of the United States has over 17,000 followers on Twitter. To improve communication, they might consider having more tweets come from HSUS with links to photos, videos and articles. Currently, many of the tweets are people having conversations that are difficult to follow because there are too many threads. Also, HSUS has their own channel on YouTube branded for their organization. People can view videos of animal abuse and animal safety tips calling them to action. Finally, HSUS has a blog written by the President and CEO of the company. The blog is updated regularly with interesting content, including photos and videos when necessary. Incorporating all three of these mediums into their campaigns could help grow their fan base.
What are your thoughts on the HSUS campaign against IHOP? Do think HSUS could make better use of social media outlets? Post a comment and let me know your thoughts.