Leveraging the strengths of Twitter as a medium, we created a hashtag specifically for the corps to tell their stories: #makebetterhappen. We encouraged all 2,500 corps members to pause and think every day: “what good happened today?” And we asked them to tweet about it using this Hashtag, creating a rich, constantly updated content stream that shared their stories with the world. City Year corps members’ daily tweets were soon being seen by their friends and family. And, most importantly, by prospective corps members. Through City Year’s extended network of friends and partnerships, we eventually saw the hashtag in some interesting places, including in tweets by NBA stars and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
We also knew that the peer influence for our audience online that drove our strategy would still be influential offline. To extend the campaign beyond the Twitter platform itself, we featured real corps members and their tweets in executions for TV, radio, print, out-of-home, and digital placements. And we used the hashtag - and not a website URL - on all communications to drive prospects back to the #makebetterhappen content stream on Twitter. Utilizing offline executions that featured content that originated online allowed all audiences to be exposed to City Year’s message, regardless of that audience’s presence on Twitter.
We also created a living mosaic of corps member profiles and tweets, makebetterhappen.org, which lives on the City Year homepage. The mosaic features 600 corps members and incorporates a live feed of corps member tweets to integrate the campaign within the website.