Reinventing a Company Toy Drive with Social Media

Learnings from my latest cause marketing program at WellPoint December 2011

I’m very proud of the success and fun we had with our WellPoint holiday toy drive providing happiness to the families at the RAIN center in Camarillo, Ca. This was the first year we used social media for our internal Blue Crew programs. I designed the social media strategy using Yammer to seed our message to company employees. Using an Amazon Wish List helped make the wishes more real and provided reporting and tracking on the gifts that were received or needed.

Outreach was driven through Yammer (facebook for companies) where we created a new group for the Blue Crew and enlisted our colleagues to join and spread the word about the online forum. Building this group created an opt-in audience for our future campaigns too. Employees who provided toys or furthered our cause were awarded badges and called out on the news feed. Every day we would highlight a special wish reminding everyone how little it costs to make a difference. And with the Amazon wish list we eliminated the hassle of shipping so all employees from New York to San Diego could participate- and heavier toys (like a skateboard for Angela that came from a colleague in Maine) were not left out.

The program also acted as a Yammer sign up campaign though I don’t have the stats on that. Because the conversations we hosted were engaging and viral, we saw daily new sign-ups to the Yammer site that had been online for over a year.

Our Intranet editor posted this out to the company:

The Blue Crew had another great success with its holiday toy drive for RAIN transitional living facility located in Camarillo, California. WellPoint associates from across the country heard about the toy drive and donated 64 gifts for the children and families, far exceeding the wish list of 27 items. Many thanks go to Vicki Karayan, Marketing Coordinator, Sr. who organized the drive while Suzanne Appel, Internet Marketing Manager, drove internal awareness for the drive. “Day by day the Amazon boxes arrived and we saw the kids’ wish list fill up. It was so exciting to feel that kind of generosity from these amazing WellPoint Associates,” said Suzanne. RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet in this tough economy. Way to go!!

Amazon Wish List for Rain

RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet with in this tough economy. The RAIN Transitional Living Center has provided housing and services to families and single adults in Ventura County, California, to help with the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. You can learn more about them at http://www.raincommunities.org

Learnings:

  • Make it easy to donate, and make it real to know where the money is going
  • By removing the shipping issues we were able to make great gains on a short 2 week campaign at the holiday time
  • Technology isn’t for everyone so make sure to provide tips for people who prefer offline channels
  • Creating a universal, up-to-date wish list allows you to see your progress daily, add to the inventory, make adjustments as the prices change and delete items when someone notifies you they bought an item offline
  • Having the audience is critical, having the right message will help you grow that audience
  • When you love what you’re doing you’ll thrive to innovate
This entry was posted in Cause Marketing, Corporate Culture, Creating a Better World, Internet Advertising and tagged , , , , , , , , by Suzanne Appel. Bookmark the permalink.

About Suzanne Appel

Over 15 years working in Internet Marketing on the client and agency sides creating strategies and managing advertising campaigns, budgets, forecasting leads/sales, website and application development, creative/brand design, promotions and analytics. I have a lot of passion for what I do and am best at working across Internet Marketing disciplines to lead and integrate the company’s multichannel online initiatives. I approach my work with a consulting eye to identify the key success measures and then create strategies to help us arrive there. I'm able to sift through large volumes of information to find the main thesis and direction needed to develop actionable plans. In my role at WellPoint (Anthem), a Fortune 30 company, I oversee several large initiatives developing marketing plans and designing campaigns with a specific focus on lead generation and sales acquisition through online channels. Previously I was leading the online marketing and e-commerce efforts for Qantas Airways North America. Specialties B2B and B2C online marketing, aquisition campaigns, direct marketing, online advertising, promotions, ROI marketing, email, website development, online product launches, campaign planning, loyalty programs, sweepstakes, e-commerce, being busy.

10 thoughts on “Reinventing a Company Toy Drive with Social Media

  1. I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely love reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the tips coming. I liked it!

  2. Yes I’ve done charity drives on Amazon before. Wish they had an easier way than through the affiliate program. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, otherwise this is great blog. An excellent read.

  3. found your weblog using msn. This is a really neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it. Would you add mu link to your site?

  4. Absolutely love this! With the workplace being so diverse we need a way to connect with people instantly all over the world, it’s an absolute no-brainer. t

  5. Oh we need to do this. How can you see what has been purchased? Is it real time? We need to have a real time list.

  6. It was so easy to donate, good job. I hope Angela likes the skateboard my colleagues and I sent!

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