NickMom uses Social Toaster to create a Semi-User-Generated Content Buzz

social toaster logoSocial Toaster works to help companies increase presence in social media through encouraging a company’s current audience to share content via social media. Social Toaster then tracks activity to help assess effectiveness. I am going to discuss how is using this program and why I think that it is successful. is a parenting website that accompanies the adult-centered television program, NickMom, which targets women with children, and airs on the Nick Jr. network after 10pm. The program just launched in the fall of 2012, and has already created quite a buzz in online communities. recently launched NickMom Clique via Social Toaster. On NickMom Clique, people can earn points and win prizes by sharing specific content with their Facebook friends and/or Twitter followers. NickMom Clique seems to be successfully engaging current and potential viewers.

NickMom Welcome Email

The content that members share is not entirely user generated, but, as I am calling it, semi-user-generated, because the actual message is pushed by the company. Status updates can include a link to content from an email newsletter and/or have a specific keyword or hashtag that users must include (ex: #motherfunny) to earn points towards prizes or other incentives. In other words, NickMom tells users what to post about, and users get points for social media shares that include the recommended content.

This gives NickMom some control or influence over what content they want out there, but the statuses themselves are still being shared by the public. This is a great way for a company to gain stronger presence in the world of social media (or at least on Facebook and Twitter) for many reasons.

People are already engaging in social media and sharing recommendations. Offering incentives for the current audience to engage with NickMom and share via their social media networks does more than help to expand online presence. It also strengthens the existing audience by bringing them together in an online community and further exposing that audience to the company’s message.  Edelman’s 2013 Trust Barometer shows that people trust people like themselves over a company’s employees or CEO. Based on this, a company’s message will likely have more influence if it comes from someone’s peers than if it comes directly from the company.

This model for social media engagement and expansion seems like the best of both worlds. On the one hand, the company is able to steer the direction of the message that is being shared on social media, but the actual sharing is generated by the public. According to Social Toaster, when a company encourages a message to be shared, users are choosing to share the content 42% of the time and reaching 313 people on average. I expect that we will continue to see more companies implementing social media campaigns like this.

NickMom Clique Cheers


IU Health Live Tweeted a Living Kidney Donor Surgery!

At today’s PRSA Hoosier luncheon, we heard from Kristofer Karol and Gene Ford, who discussed how they pulled off Indiana’s first real-time transplant Twittercast.

Gene Ford speaking about the Twittercast with Kristofer Karol at the PRSA Hoosier November luncheon

In efforts to raise awareness about organ donation and organ transplants, they decided to tweet highlights, during an actual living kidney donor transplant. Tweeting the live surgery was a little bit risky, a lot outside the box and a huge success.

When they started planning for this, they anticipated it taking quite a bit of time before everything was in place to make this idea a reality.  However, there was a surgery scheduled sooner, so these guys had a lot to do in a little amount of time – 23 tasks in 9 days to be exact. These tasks included asking the patients to agree and sign the necessary documentation, informing the doctors and hospital staff, speaking with attorneys to make sure they were doing things in an ethical and legal way, among numerous other things.

Some background: Caleb Johnson was speaking with his friend, Colin Newton, over dinner about his need for a kidney transplant, when Colin offered to be his donor. At IU Health, kidney transplants are done frequently, and as far as surgeries go, usually one of the safest procedures. This was one of the reasons that Karol and Ford chose to highlight this specific type of surgery.

Caleb Johnson and best friend/kidney donor, Colin Newton

Karol and Ford had a lot to consider before implementing this Twittercast. For instance, what if something unexpected does happen? Or, worst case scenario, what if something goes wrong? While there is typically little risk involved in this type of surgery they still had to be prepared for anything. Fortunately, they did not need to use any premeditated crisis management strategies.

This Twittercast far surpassed all expected outcomes. The team predicted they would receive about 500 new twitter followers and 50 mentions or re-tweets. In actuality  they got just under 1,400 new followers and over 1,700 mentions/re-tweets, as well as over 100 media placements!

Click here to learn more about organ donation and Caleb’s story on the IU Health Website.