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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Innovating on Behalf of Girls: Girl Scouts Use Social to Help Girls Make the World a Better Place

Entered in Non-Profit


Social media engagement that drives people to take action off-line is the focus of the Girl Scouts strategy to mobilize support for the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, a cornerstone of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, is the largest, most successful girl-led business in the world, and its power to teach girls business and financial skills to serve them throughout their lives is unrivaled. Every year, nearly 1.5 million Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies—close to $800 million worth; and every year, our young cookie entrepreneurs reinvest that money into troop activities and community service projects.

To raise awareness of how the Girl Scout Leadership Experience prepares girls to make the world a better place, we developed a multi-channel, integrated social media marketing campaign to:

Strategy and Execution

To meet these goals, we developed an organic content mix strategy (yes, that means no media budget) leveraging user-generated content (UGC), storytelling, earned media, memes, branded graphics, and photography. We also held a virtual event and three contests to engage key audiences in activities on- and offline.

For our Fall/Winter 2015 #GirlScoutsGiveBack campaign driven by UGC, we invited troops to post examples of how they demonstrate everyday acts of leadership. What they shared included founding libraries in America's heartland, establishing free medical clinics in India, and so much more. This content series showcases how Girl Scouts work together to take the lead in bettering the world.

GSUSA's #TroopTuesday UGC activation on Facebook and Twitter conveys the excitement of being a Girl Scout in the words of girl members who earn badges, explore the great outdoors, learn new skills, build robots, and more. The #TroopTuesday and #GirlScoutsGiveback activations were a fun, low-budget way to spotlight real-life examples of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at work.

Since buying Girl Scout Cookies is about much more than just handing over money for a box of treats, we used the power of storytelling to show the skills a girl gains from running her own business. We also posted links back to the top-earned media placements—and there were a ton to choose among, considering we garnered more than 7 billion media impressions of Girl Scout Cookie Program-related news in 2015!

To kick off the annually celebrated National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend and showcase how the Girl Scout Cookie Program creates the smartest cookies in town, GSUSA partnered with Mom It Forward to host a #cookieboss Twitter party welcoming cookie buyers, caregivers, and volunteers. To ensure this virtual party was a success, we:

This kickoff marked the start of Girl Scout Cookie season, our busiest time for contests and promotions. We held a Bling Your Booth Facebook Contest to incentivize participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program (full details). We also partnered with Taste of Home to host the first ever National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest (full details) to get consumers excited to buy Girl Scout Cookies.

To engage consumers on Instagram, we held the #onemorebite Photo Challenge. We designed the challenge so it was super easy to enter—all participants had to do was upload a creative Girl Scout Cookie photo on Instagram, hashtag #onemorebite, and rally their friends to vote for their photo for a chance to win 52 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. We cross-promoted this challenge on the Girl Scout blog,, and the Girl Scout Cookies Facebook page.


GSUSA's social strategy to get consumers excited to support the Girl Scout Cookie Program and raise awareness of the benefits of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience was a success. Despite facing declines in membership and cookie program participation, Girl Scout Cookie sales remained steady, and the average number of boxes sold per girl actually increased! The demand for Girl Scout Cookies resulted in nearly $800 million in revenue—funds that girls have reinvested in their communities, in the process making the world a better place.

A snapshot of social KPIs related to our engagement and awareness objectives are bulleted below.

Girl Scout Cookies Facebook Page

Girl Scouts of the USA Facebook Page




View National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest results.

View #BlingYourBooth Challenge results .

#onemorebite Photo Challenge


Video for Innovating on Behalf of Girls: Girl Scouts Use Social to Help Girls Make the World a Better Place

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Girl Scouts of the USA


Entry Credits