Case Studies in Thunderclap

Now that Thunderclap has been approved for government use for nearly a year, we checked in with two agencies that have successfully used the crowd-speaking tool to rally their supporters and amplify their messages. In case you missed it, you can replay the webinar.

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What Makes a Thunderclap?

Nicholas Garlow, public affairs specialist with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used Thunderclap to support Open Enrollment Season for Healthcare.gov. He outlined the necessary components to a campaign:

  • Create a message that will be shared, and a story that explains the campaign or event. Including a graphic will make your message more engaging.
  • Set a date and time when the message will be sent. Allow at least two weeks for promotion.
  • Set a supporter goal of 100, 250, or 500 and ask users to help you share the message via Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.
  • Promote the campaign to your social media followers, partners, and email lists.

Measuring Success

  • If you reach your goal, your message will be shared by your supporters at the same time.
  • Social reach: How many people were exposed to your message?
  • The action point: Did people take the desired action? (Sign up, order, etc.)
  • Did you increase traffic to relevant Web pages?

When To Use Thunderclap

  • Major observances
  • Events & announcements
  • New product or service launch
  • Issue/topic support

Jessica Orquina, social media lead for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has worked on three Thunderclaps, two of which were successful. She shared some lessons learned from their first campaign, Protect Your Kids!, which didn’t reach its goal.

  • Short campaign (less than a week) was not enough time to reach the goal.
  • People didn’t want to give Thunderclap access to their account.

EPA achieved success on their next two campaigns, On Earth Day, #ActOnClimate! and Be SunWise on Don’t Fry Day.

Tips for Success

  • Thunderclap campaign subjects should be of interest to a broad audience, especially millennials.
  • Write a blog post and explain Thunderclap for those not familiar with the tool. Make it clear Thunderclap will only post to their account this one time.
  • Allow enough time for promotion and promote daily on social media. Include current number of supporters in posts. For example:
    • We need your help! 250 people have supported our Thunderclap, we need 500 to meet our goal!
    • Tag @ThunderclapIT on Twitter.
  • Remember to thank your supporters for promoting the message.

Tell us: Has your agency used Thunderclap?

Alison Lemon is a Knowledge Manager for the SocialGov Community and a Senior Analyst for Social Media with the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. You can follow their work @FDAWomen.

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