Right now, TDV is promoting a cause we call Shoes for Shoeless (SFS). It is a movement to provide children in Indonesia – who have heard of shoes, but have never owned a pair in their life – with shoes. Let’s cover some aspects to it shall we? From perspectives of management, marketing and media (MMM).
Origins of idea
One day, my cousin here in Sydney was talking about how another one of my cousins in Jakarta (Indonesia) was supporting a charity cause. This cousin of mine is a retailer who imports children’s shoes and caters towards the high-end market, and his brand is called CooGee Kid’s Shoes. If you’ve decided to click on the link, you’ll see that he’s quite successful judging from the 16,000 likes the brand received. The actual charity group is called Langkah Kasih (Step of Compassion), which is formed by a band of yougn entrepreneurs in the footwear industry and CooGee is a part of it.
Anyway, so I heard about it and I thought “hmm, TDV isn’t really doing anything at the moment and everyone is in exam periods. What if we do something that’s good and simple enough for university people to participate in?”. There was also the fact that I was going back to Indonesia on the 25th of June and therefore be able to transfer and convert whatever donations we receive then.
As the one who came up with this idea, it can be said that I’m pretty much the project leader of this whole thing. Before starting the whole thing, I wanted to make sure that our results will be evident and visibile, which is crucial for a society that is based online in addition to the activity being remote. I contacted my cousin in regards to this, and asked him if we could put TDV stickers on some of the shoeboxes that we contribute from our collected donations, and have the personnels take a picture of it for us to share on our network. He said we could if it’s just a few, but to be sure I contacted Langkah Kasih directly through e-mail, but they weren’t too keen on the idea. Instead, they said that they’ll have the kids hold up a banner of TDV instead but that’s actually quite an additional cost for us. I’ve yet to talk to them about it further (they haven’t replied to my e-mail), but we’ll be meeting up once I’m in Indonesia to see what they can do. It’s great that their supporting us in our efforts! Oh, and another thing I’d like to mention is that our stickers will be produced in Indonesia which is much, much cheaper. It’s such a good thing that I’m going back to Indonesia for a few weeks!
I’d like to mention our positioning for this whole scheme. If you think about it, donating to provide shoes for kids isn’t quite relevant to TDV , which is all about dancing and busking – except for the charity part. In order to make it fit towards our whole brand proposition, I decided to market the SFS differently by emphasising the relationship between shoes and dancing. In our description and on several statuses and updates made on social networks, I’ve repeated the words and association of “dance” and “shoes” – or “kicks” for a more hip hop feel. These included sentences such as “give these kids shoes to dance in” and “dancing without kicks is bad enough”. Here’s also another technique that I’ve adopted in accordance to the frequency effect theory (showing stimulus at a high rate of frequency in order to increase customer familiarity): repeating the words “shoes” many many times and also playing around with it. Don’t believe me? Just count the number of “shoes” there are in the event description. In addition, I also used the sentence “imagine if you were in their shoes” because it just fits so well. Also, I’ve also incorporated many emotional elements to the whole campaign, even for the event picture. I used a sepia setting to associate reminiscence and also attach some kind of dramatic effect. For the description, I’ve outlined diseases that are linked to going barefoot and how it affects children’s opportunities and lives in general. To convince, I’ve pulled out data and statistics from reliable sources (not just Wikipedia) through a quick research and even provided proper referencing! The only thing that’s a turn down is that it’s quite a wall of text – the whole description. I tried to play it down through the usage of headings.
We’ve marketed mainly through social media and OOOH and idea popped up just then (literally, as I was typing) – I’ll be trying to achieve more exposure through D2MG newsletters. If you check out the SFS event page, you’ll see that we’re not doing too bad. I believe word of mouth played a huge role in this whole scheme, because honestly many of the random people I talked to who are somehow connected to the dance scene have heard of the movement. Additionally, it also helped that I pitched in front of my church about the whole project and many people donated towards it. I’ve also encouraged the board members to do similarly by sharing on their individual societies’ group walls, posting on their statuses and also by simply liking activities and such – which actually has a huge effect on reach. In terms of partnerships and such, we’ve managed to garner the attention of several main dance studios around Sydney through connections and just simple Facebook messaging. Some of these include Crossover Studios, Dancekool and Hip Hop Legacy (online hip hop magazine).
I went full out on our social networks to promote the movement. Of course I’ve done the general stuff such as pinning it on TDV’s timeline, but I’ve also been endorsing the hashtag #ShoesForShoeless. Although not as much on Facebook, I’ve been utilising TweetDeck to time tweets appropriately from the collection of statistics from Tweriod and also a survey done that showed engagement and reach is optimised at non-peak hours between 8:00 PM and 7:00 AM (I got this from Jeff Bullas’ blog post). Furthermore I’ve also been pushing the hashtags #charity and #philanthropy on TDV’s Twitter a lot as a way to target certain people, and I also incorporated the “ReTweet” strategy by tweeting “RT to raise the awareness of kids in Indonesia walking tens of kilometers without shoes. Let’s change lives on.fb.me/L8y86d #charity“.
The Twitter Contest
Right now we have a Twitter contest running, one that asks to provide a creative answer to a question related to our whole scheme. The answer also required you to hashtag #ShoesForShoeless and #TDV, and the winner will have $20 paid by TDV donated towards the cause under their name. In theory, it sounds great but implementation is harder than I thought – it’s so hard to get people participating! In response to this, I have devised a plan! I created a standardised text for the board members to copy and paste to their statuses for them to post, and all of us will like each other’s statuses to ensure maximum reach. Another thing is that this text is only around 60 words long, so it’s fairly quick and easy to read. I do however plan to chop this down further to less than 80 characters since it is proven that posts with less than 80 words receive greater engagement, and even better if less than 40!
The SFS scheme will end on the 25th of June. For the moment, this is what I’ve done. I’m thoroughly enjoying this as it progresses! It’s very intriguing to explore what works and doesn’t, how some strategies fail and coming up with a back-up plan.