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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Building an Internet of Engineers

Entered in Non-Profit


Over the years, our work with IEEE has evolved, while always being rooted social strategy and community management. After three years of carefully managing the organization's social presence, it became clear that to sustain the impressive growth in audience size and engagement, a change needed to take place.

We know our social audience well. They're reactive, and receptive to content that's visual, and timely - like technology news that touches on engineering, tech history, and innovations of the future. Solving for content type was only part of the equation. Our biggest challenge was building and thinking up a solution that would allow us continue engaging our social audience beyond our social channels.

The common thread amongst all of the content we published socially in 2014 and earlier was that it was sourced from third party news sites, and therein we found an opportunity.

We dedicated 2015 to developing a complementary digital destination to our social channels, IEEE Transmitter, built as a means to learn more about what topics our audience wants to learn more about, and what motivates their engagement. Understanding that our audience continues to grow on mobile, it was also important that the site be accessible to this key sector via a user-friendly responsive design.

In addition to launching IEEE Transmitter, we decided that Q2 of 2015 was also the prime time for us to extend our social channel presence, and so we created @IEEEOrg on Instagram in April 2015.

Strategy and Execution

For IEEE Transmitter, our goal was to create a companion to our social channels, so that instead of sourcing content from and referring to third party sites, we instead have an owned site with content influenced by our social audience and created by our team of writers and industry experts.

While the content on IEEE Transmitter is created as a direct reflection of our top performing content on social, with insights being pulled in regularly, the site development process was more complex. Our approach to concepting the site was two-fold: design/development and content creation. For design, we started with a brainstorm that involved building a mind map of the topics we could write about regularly, how they would be categorized, and how they would be tagged. This also helped inform the different possible content types - video, image gallery, listicle, article. From there, our UX designer created a set of wireframes that later gave life to a user-friendly, responsive design that helped keep the focus on the content without distraction while also enhancing accessibility for our strong and growing mobile audience.

Once the wireframes were in place, we started our content creation process by assessing the content that performed best on social, and finding recent news to capture and share with our audience for extended engagement.

Once we established the verticals in which we could produce content, we began cross-promoting the launch of IEEE Transmitter on our Facebook, Google+ and Twitter feeds. We also promoted the channel through Instagram with the use of strategic hashtags like: #engineering, #engineer, #innovation, #maker, #technology, #DIY, etc.

We had three months of content prepared at launch in July 2015, as well as a set of editorial guidelines for any third party contributing authors. Upon launch, all content was promoted on the IEEE Facebook, Twitter and Google+ feeds.

In April 2015, we made a strategic decision to launch an @IEEEorg channel on Instagram to extend our social presence to a platform that caters to a younger audience. To integrate content development, we started by pulling visual content from our best performing Facebook posts and tweets, focusing on photos that featured technology, tech experts, as well as notable tech facts, industry milestones and quotes.

Instagram has offered us a venue for better promoting our student-focused campaigns, while also showcasing the presence that IEEE has at major events like Web Summit, Mobile World Congress and CES.


IEEE's success across its respective social media channels proves that content on engineering, rooted in education and discovery, can generate strong engagement appeal and attract new audience. Facebook in particular has played a strong cross-promotional role, allowing us to debut our Instagram presence and IEEE Transmitter launch with our Facebook audience (over 1.5 million people) and a total of 2.64 million interactions across Facebook and Twitter.

Since its launch in April through the end of 2015, @IEEEorg reached 25,000 followers, with each post generating between 100 and 500 likes. This figure far-eclipses our goal for the year of 5,000 followers and 50 likes per photo. The comment sentiment is positive overall, and we've experienced continued growth as we tapped into the platform alongside IEEE Transmitter to promote our presence at industry events, including Web Summit and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

IEEE Transmitter has experienced similar success. After launching in late July 2015, we well exceeded our goal for 2015 of 100,000 page views, reaching 258,839 page views, and an average of 00:54 minutes spent on the site.

Our main goal for IEEE Transmitter was to make social the main driver, ultimately phasing out the need to source content from third-party sites. This was an absolute success, as social has driven 52% of the site's traffic to-date.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Finn Partners, IEEE


Entry Credits