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5 Twitter Lessons From the #IAm Campaign

To commemorate this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May, CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) partnered with Verizon to launch the #IAm Campaign, which showcased inspirational stories of various influential Asian-American actors, musicians, and role models in entertainment and media. #IAm received 20,000 uses in a month’s time. 

The campaign’s content was heavily weighted towards YouTube and most heavily engaged with on Twitter, with a lot of Tweets linking to the YouTube channel, which featured mini-documentaries about how entertainers have experienced being Asian-American, and a hilarious 8-episode web-series called Making I Am: Get Me Your Friends.  The story follows actor Randall Park as he attempts to “rally the Asian American community to support CAPE’s I AM_ Campaign.”  View all the vids here, and read on to learn more about what your brand can learn from this successful campaign. 

They left the field for response wide open…

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…by starting with a hashtag that’s bursting with different possibilities. #IAm allows ample room for unbounded self-definition, which gives users plenty of room to play around in and simultaneously fits perfectly into the campaign’s mission of sharing the wide spectrum of Asian- and Pacific-American identities in an effort to defy stereotypes.

They had a visually appealing website with a well-formulated vision.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 4.16.26 PMThe I Am_ campaign has a well-designed website that looks good, is easily navigable, and lays out its mission front and center on the main landing page. This is an important lesson for any brand: even a short-lived campaign should have an easily located home on the internet to distill its mission and purpose.

This avoids any confusion about messaging or which brand is responsible for the content, especially for large companies with many brands under their umbrella. It also makes having a permanent CTA possible, and directs users towards campaign presence on any one of the social media channels attached to the campaign.

Mentions and Retweets win the day.

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And Replies get left in the dust. I see this as the one shortcoming of the #IAm campaign. Because the campaign is so self-defining and ego-oriented, it leaves less room for interaction than another hashtag/campaign title would. After someone you follow defines him or herself on Twitter and then links you to a YouTube video of a deeper dive into that story, there’s not much of a CTA for the viewer.

YouTube content was a significant part of the campaign.

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Everything Verizon and CAPE did during this campaign was directed towards getting folks to watch their mini-documentaries on YouTube – the true focal point of the campaign. The videos were quite successful,with over 230K views on some.

Celebs give serious mileage.

Whenever a brand partners with celebrities – or anyone with a ton of Twitter followers – the amount of eyes on that content increases exponentially. Take a look at the Most Retweeted Tweets with the #IAm hashtag.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.14.09 PM4 out of 10 of the top 10 most Retweeted Tweets came from Agnez Mo, an Asian-American social media starlet-turned-record label-signed signing sensation. The success of her Tweets shows you the power of her fan base and the influence that celebrity can have on a campaign like this – not to mention George Takei, who definitely held up his end of the bargain with 2 out of the top 10 Retweeted Tweets.

A great partnership between a brand and a non-profit.

This campaign is an ideal example of a successful partnership between a brand and an awareness-raising non-profit. It shows what can be accomplished when priorities and values align for two organizations. What other examples can you think of where this has been successful? S/O in the comments below.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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