Have you ever posted a funny and informative tweet that you thought deserved more attention? As a marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than creating great content but nobody seeing it. Thunderclap aims to change that.
I’m sorry… Thunder what?
Thunderclap.it is a new crowd-sourcing website that lets supporters of a cause pledge to share a message at a certain time, thereby boosting the audience of the message by substantially. Users can opt to share the predetermined message on their personal Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr accounts. It’s been described as an “online flash mob” as it allows you to reach users that you wouldn’t usually be able to. It’s important to note that when you sign up to use Thunderclap, you’re authorising the app to share a single message on your behalf. After the campaign is over, Thunderclap promises that they won’t post again from your account.
Thunderclap is open to use for non profits, government agencies, individuals, and anything in between. The British Labour Party has already taken advantage of it, and reported that thanks to Thunderclap their message reached the feed of 4.5 million people. And they’re not the only ones taking advantage of this awesome new tool.
How do I use Thunderclap.it?
In order to create a Thunderclap account you need a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account to connect it with. When you log in, you’ll be directed to a dashboard that will give you an overview of your scheduled Thunderclaps. To start a new Thunderclap go to the top right hand corner of the screen and click “Start a new Thunderclap.” That will direct you to the next screen where you’ll be able to fill out a name, category, message, and photo. The “message” is what your followers are going to tweet out, so I would suggest using a few hashtags and keeping it short incase anyone wants to add a message before the tweet. You can see what your message looks like in the top right hand corner (red circle) and personalise it to make sure it looks just right.
You also might want to personalise the picture you use, the way that #AIDSFreeGen did on their Thunderclap.it profile, and share the same picture across multiple social media platforms to add some consistency to your campaign. To get an idea of what sort of message you should use, take a look at some of these successful campaigns that are running right now:
Campaigns are typically authorised between 1-3 days, the entire website is free (unless you want to use Thunderclap.it Pro for $500 per campaign) and it’s really easy to use. If you haven’t already set up a campaign for #GivingTuesday, I would highly suggest doing so.
Another really cool part of Thunderclap is the option to create updates for your followers. You can do in the “Project Update” tab under the “My Thunderclaps” section of your admin page. Supporters love staying up to date and to see how they’re making a difference in your campaign, every before it’s over. Also, saying “thank you” never hurt anyone! Thank your supporters for their support up until this point, or thank them after the campaign is over.
How do I market Thunderclap?
You’re in luck: Thunderclap.it has a guide on how to promote and run a successful Thunderclap campaign. The guide includes how to optimise your campaign, marketing templates, and much more. Here’s a quick summary of the guide:
- Keep your message short and sweet (I support meaningful volunteer experiences #teamunitedplanet)
- Set a deadline of 2-3 weeks.
- Thunderclap suggest promoting through email, embedded website, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and youtube.
- Make sure to have a clear call to action and to specify that you want them to join through Thunderclap (not just “like” your Facebook status)
- Use “Updates” to rally support for your campaign and/or to update supporters on your campaign’s progress.
If I had some suggestions it would be to advertise on Pinterest, possibly have a countdown going on your Instagram, and to blog about what Thunderclap is so that your supporters know what’s going on. I know the Thunderclap guide mentioned that in your email marketing you should include a brief paragraph about what the website is, but I would personally link to a blog post that goes into detail about the site. It generally makes people uncomfortable to “link” their personal accounts to outside sources, and the idea of a new website posting on “their behalf” is a bit scary. I’m always terrified that a service is going to take advantage of my Twitter account and post crazy spam messages!
Honestly, I think this is a fantastic idea. I’m not surprised at how many companies have already sign on to this, but I am surprised that I’ve yet to see a Thunderclap message on my Twitter feed. The United Nations Beyonce campaign reached 1 billion people and yet I don’t remember seeing anything about it. But maybe I’m just getting old and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be!
It’s simple, and I think it’s largely symbolic of the what the modern political activist is turning into. This is a “lazy” but powerful way to spread a message. All I have to do is sign up, authorise my accounts, and Thunderclap does the rest. It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to something, and it gives your campaign the coverage that it needs. What more could I want?
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