Can a global learning company inspire the world? At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, we believe so.
We are constantly inspired by the stories we hear from teachers, students, families, and friends about how inquiry and discovery instill a lifelong love of learning, both in the classroom and beyond. We believe that education is empowering, that passion for knowledge is infectious and that sharing ideas with others fuels creativity and builds community.
In staying true to our mission of changing people's lives by fostering passionate, curious learners, we identified an opportunity to do this at an even larger scale through a powerful, inspirational, social media and digitally led campaign called #SparkAMind.
A simple question like "Why is the sky blue?" can spark curiosity in an instant.
#SparkAMind's goal is to do just that; spark curiosity around the world through social media and digital marketing. We focused on creating a space for our audiences to come together and share ideas and stories both in the digital sphere and physical world. We also wanted to make sure that the efforts of #SparkAMind have a lasting effect. With all of this in mind, we partnered closely with internal and external partners to ensure the integration of #SparkAMind across all efforts.
The key features for #SparkAMind include a digital sharing community, a social media-led giving campaign and a cross-country playful learning tour that brings inspiration and curiosity sparking activities directly to families and communities for free.
- Digital Community Space: With the #SparkAMind landing page, we are gathering inspirational stories of learning and curiosity shared by teachers, students and parents on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and building a dedicated space for disseminating educational ideas and resources in real-time. Fellow teachers, students and parents looking for unique ways to foster learning can visit the page and scroll through an endless supply of inspiring and encouraging posts from around the world. The page has received great engagement from the learning community with an average of eight minutes spent per visit.
- Giving Campaign: It is essential that all children have the opportunity to embrace the spirit of learning, starting from the moment they are born. That's why for every story shared and for every use of #SparkAMind, HMH donates a book to a non-profit partner that shares our mission of ensuring that all learners have access to the resources they need to thrive. HMH will be donating up to 10,000 books to Too Small to Fail, a non-profit organization that aims to help parents, communities and businesses take action to improve the health and well-being of children from birth to age five.
- Curious World Tour: This summer, in partnership with the Ultimate Block Party and the Association of Children's Museums, we've taken #SparkAMind on the road with the Curious World Tour, an immersive and playful learning experience designed to nurture inquisitive minds by engaging, inspiring, and reminding communities that learning can take place everywhere. Popping up in nine cities, the tour invites explorers of all ages on an adventure with beloved HMH characters like Curious George that will spark their minds, inspire them to ask questions and take a hands-on approach to learning through interactive activities. To help ensure a lifelong love of learning, we're donating a minimum of 7,500 books to each community we stop in, totalling 75,000 books donated over the course of the tour.
#SparkAMind has become the campaign and message that many across HMH have rallied behind and integrated into communication efforts like email campaigns and in-booth activations at national conferences. It also has become a driving force in employee advocacy at HMH.
Through the #SparkAMind campaign, we strove to increase our engagement, impact our share of voice in social, generate positive external brand recognition, grow our communities, and build brand advocacy by forming a deeper connection with educators and parents. In the short period following the program's launch in late February, we saw an increase in social engagement, reach, positive sentiment, and community size, as well as a higher degree of brand advocacy based on landing page time spent, hashtag usage, and Tour attendees:
- Total Engagements: 174.7K
- Total Social Reach: 45.7 MM
- Total Increase in Overall Brand Engagement During Campaign: 300%
- 100% Positive/Neutral Sentiment across channels
- Follower Growth: 7%
Web: Spark a Mind Digital Community Landing Page
- Average time spent: 08:47
- Total Visits: 50,182
- 10,000 books donated for each use of #SparkAMind on social media
- 75,000 Total books will be donated throughout the Curious World Tour (June – Aug)
- 7,500 books donated to the community at each stop of the Curious World Tour
Curious World Tour: 20,000
(number subject to change as tour is still in progress) Young Curious World Tour attendees
Video for Inspiring Curiosity with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s #SparkAMind Campaign