THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

The Verizon Foundation

Finalist in Facebook Presence

Entered in Education, Twitter Presence

About this entry

We believe that all kids deserve a chance to create a brighter future for themselves. But kids can only dream of becoming what they can see.

That's why we're working to bring technology and hands-on learning opportunities directly to kids in schools and clubs all across the country. Because we know it isn't just the technology that makes a difference. The technology is simply the spark that helps build skills, boost confidence and inspire bigger dreams.

Want to be a computer programmer? Great. Want to be a fashion designer? Awesome. Want to create video games or travel the world as an explorer? They all require technology proficiency, logic, communication and more. From app development to robotics to entrepreneurial thinking, we design our programs to use technology to open doors, inspire, and prepare kids for futures they never even imagined.

So far, we've reached more than 100,000 kids. But it's not nearly enough. That's where we see the value in social media. Our objective is to use Facebook and Twitter to bring the same kind of knowledge, opportunities and resources that our program participants receive, to as many kids as possible.

More than just STEM or STEAM or the space in between, we believe that it isn't just the skill of creating code that's important; it's what kids learn as a result. It's about the amazing opportunities those skills create. And that's what we try to facilitate and inspire online.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

1. We know that we're not the subject matter experts in the education space. That's why we work with leading education organizations and non-profits to create reputable, impactful curriculum and opportunities to deliver through our in-person programs.

We apply the same thinking to our social platforms.

Our strategy is to elevate non-profits, teachers, education publications and thought leaders, who are creating content, opportunities and resources that can be used immediately in people's homes or classrooms.

By sharing content that is interesting, informative, inspiring and actionable, we work to bring real, tangible value to families and caregivers all around the world.

2. We don't believe in promoting ourselves unless it creates value for our followers. It doesn't benefit anyone to hear about our work. You'll find an approximate 95/5 editorial split; 95 percent of content coming from reputable external sources and only 5 percent Verizon Foundation focused. Even within that 5 percent, we only post about ourselves when we're sharing an opportunity that is open to everyone or highlighting the accomplishments of one of our amazing kids.

3. We only use media created with the real kids in our programs. Every photo and video you see is of the actual kids we work with. We use these on social because we believe that the best inspiration for kids is other kids and we want everything they see to be genuine. We want kids to know that there are other kids that look just like them who are making and creating and changing the world.

4. Each person uses more than one social platform and each person uses those platforms in unique ways with unique personalities. Rather than post the same thing on every platform, we make an effort to share audience and platform-specific content based on a constant evaluation of what our followers find interesting and valuable.


Results

Since implementing our strategy, we've seen astronomical growth.

Our total social following has grown 817% from 12,000 to more than 110,000 (60,000 in the last four months alone) and on-platform engagement has grown 488%.

We've run two major campaigns in 2016.

The first was a Mother's Day campaign in which we created an opportunity for teen girls to create a Mother's Day gift with code. We filmed the event and shared the video on social. For each retweet or share, we donated a dollar to Black Girls Code. In the end, we were able to raise $5K for the non-profit.

The second campaign, titled #YouDontKnowMe, was designed to spark a conversation about stereotypes and their impact on kids. As the non-profit arm of our organization, paid promotion plays a small role in our social strategy. But because we've built such a strong and focused audience base, we spent only $200 on our post on both Facebook and Twitter and:

Reached 69,000 people.
Received 24,050 views.
Received 1,823 engagements.

While all of this is great news from a social presence standpoint, what it really tells us is that parents and caregivers find value in what we're sharing with them. They're engaging with us and each other and their networks of friends and each time they do, we have the great privilege of hopefully positively impacting another kid.

Media

Video for The Verizon Foundation

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Verizon Foundation

Links

Entry Credits