AOL, TOMS Use Social Media Analytics For “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign

akarim    November 4, 2014

Images courtesy Simply Measured.

AOL Inc.

Media, Technology

Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL
Matthew Knell, Social Media Director, AOL

AOL is a multinational mass media corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1985, the company has grown to focus primarily on the acquisition and distribution of digital content, products and services.

A message about the “One Day Without Shoes” campaign from Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL:

AOL along with TOMS Shoes teamed up to create the “One Day Without Shoes” campaign. Its aim is to spread awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have in a child’s life; supporters were asked to go barefoot for the day and express their message through social media by using the #withoutshoes hashtag. The original target of reaching 100,000 people was met and surpassed in less than 18 hours, so they eventually adjusted the target to 1 million.

The campaign comprised of 3,000 events held in over 50 countries around the world including United States, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and South Korea. AOL donated a mail sign in page to the campaign from April 7 to 9, leading up to the campaign day on April 10. The page reached an average of 10 million impressions a day, according to internal Aol stats.

Trailer for “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign:

This campaign heavily relied on social media metrics to analyze and organize data from supporters across multiple social media platforms. The hashtag #Withoutshoes primarily focused on supporters from Twitter.

Here’s a Podcast by EnergizeSparkcast featuring web analytics guru Jim Sterne, CEO Target Marketing discussing Web and Social Media Metrics. Sterne discusses topics such as the history of web marketing, specific analytics software and utilizing “influential” users to spread awareness about campaigns.

Rather than utilizing social media metrics to analyze and evaluate the campaign’s completion, AOL decided to drive participation by setting a goal for supporters, and tracking the goal’s progress up to campaign day. Based on the data that AOL received from the analytic firm Simply Measured, the campaign achieved a potential reach of around 30 million.

“For the first time, AOL was able to measure the real-time potential audience for our social campaign activity using Simply Measured. Their easy to understand reporting allowed us to understand how our message was being spread and to optimize our tactics to ensure we reached (and ultimately succeed) our goal of 1,000,000 people. The data Simply Measured provided was simply impossible for us to know otherwise, and allowed us to stay true to our original goal of sharing the TOMS One Day Without Shoes message.”
– Matthew Knell, Social Media Director, AOL

In this case, real-time analytics was used to track, adjust goals, and to help keep supporters motivated. AOL contributed towards the campaign by updating supporters throughout the day.

Lessons Learned:
– Social media metrics can be used to evaluate the efficiency of a campaign. This can be done prior to and after a campaign has completed
– Hashtags can be used on various social media websites to brand a campaign, and rally support from participants
– Finding and utilizing the support from “influential” users is key to spreading awareness about campaigns

AOL Blog
Simply Measured
– AOL Uses Social Media Analytics To Drive Support For TOMS #WithoutShoes Campaign
Submitted By: Alisha Karim – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

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