We know that social media audiences have anxiety about the future of our planet. But we also know, there is a way forward.
To counteract this anxiety, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) set out to engage younger, climate-conscious social audiences with positive and insightful content that educates, evokes emotion and drives action on Earth Day – April 22, 2023. This was not a flashy ad campaign or social marketing stunt. Rather, TNC created a rich content-driven activation aimed to connect with users in a positive, solutions-centric path to heal the planet.
Using the “THINK FEEL DO” engagement framework, TNC leveraged our global social channels – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok – to deliver content that educated and inspired our community (THINK and FEEL content). After learning something new and feeling connected to the cause, our audiences would be inspired to take an action (DO!) for our planet on Earth Day.
Earth Day creates a crowded media landscape. Consumer brands, celebrities, leaders and media outlets vie for attention with competing ideas and mixed messages. To lessen this anxiety and cut through the noise, TNC was uniquely positioned to offer our followers and climate-conscious audiences stories of hope and solutions. To bring this approach to life, TNC prioritized Instagram and created a month-long organic and paid social plan.
Organic social: TNC engaged our global social followers in a phased content journey:
Paid social: Given a younger audiences’ affinity for Instagram and Facebook, as well as video content, a Meta paid ad campaign ran for one-month, delivering similar THINK FEEL DO content in ads targeting nine regions: U.S. & Caribbean in English and Spanish, Latin America, Brazil, Africa, Australia, India, Canada and Europe.
To bring organic and paid content to life, TNC’s top storytellers pitched their best-of-the-best content ideas for consideration in social. As the list was narrowed down to the most engaging social stories, the global Social and Creative teams collaborated to make social magic – which included a quirky and interesting Reel about backyard camera traps and a sentimental carousel post that stirred up feelings of nostalgia as users shared their core memories in nature.
The above plan sounds solid, right? But did we face challenges? Of course we did! The sheer volume of content led to controlled chaos. The team juggled the creation and management of 297 individual visual assets (Reels, Stories, in-feed video ads, carousel posts, the list goes on to include every format and placement!). Then add in that this was a 30-day global campaign that played out in five organic channels, two paid channels, and nine regions, and whew, the complexity challenged us all.
In short, the Earth Day 2023 social campaign was successful! Earth Day content met our objectives by engaging our target audiences at equal or higher rates than TNC’s day-to-day social content. Let’s break down the results:
The goal of all social media promotion was to meet or exceed TNC’s benchmark engagement rates. For paid social, we exceeded our goal! TNC’s campaign effectively engaged our target audience and drove a 39% engagement rate, exceeding TNC’s Earth Day 2022 benchmark engagement rate. In fact, all nine targeted regions exceeded our benchmarks, with the U.S. and Caribbean Spanish ad set driving an incredible 65% engagement rate. In the end, the campaign also drove 930 million impressions and 16,000 new followers to our Instagram account.
In organic social, we achieved our goal across Instagram Reels, Stories and single-image posts. Our secondary channels of Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and Twitter also achieved success. In total, we generated 96,000 engagements across organic social and met or exceeded our channel engagement rates. Additionally, the social campaign reached an organic audience of 1.9 million – double the reach from Earth Day 2022.
These valuable metrics tell a story of success but it’s also the insightful takeaways that we’ll carry forward: