How @GoodwillIntl is Celebrating Labor Day with Twitter Campaign #150jobs AND Measures Success | Beth's Blog

How @GoodwillIntl is Celebrating Labor Day with Twitter Campaign #150jobs AND Measures Success


KD Paine and I had the pleasure of interviewing the Arlene McCrehan social media team at Goodwill for our soon to be launched book,  Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.    Goodwill uses measurement and learning in its evolution into a networked nonprofit.   One practice they have mastered well is the ability to use experiments (with measurement) to mature its practice.

One of their  newest experiments is a Twitter campaign, #150jobs. They  launched it to align Goodwill with Labor Day, and to shine a light on the challenges faced by people who are unemployed, as well as the transformation a job has made on their lives.  They just marked their 150th first-person story on their blog, so in the 150 hours leading up to Labor Day, @GoodwillIntl is tweeting out one of these success story per hour under the hashtag #150job  to spotlight someone who has found work, education or volunteer opportunities with support from Goodwill.

Arlene McCrehan is the Senior Director of Online Media where she directs the team responsible for social, mobile, email, and public web initiatives for Goodwill Industries International, a social enterprise comprised of independent, community-based Goodwill organizations that provide job training, employment placement services and other programs.    Her teams also provides guidance and support to their DC-area office and the Goodwill network around information architecture, design and content in the implementation of new technologies, campaigns and microsites.   I interviewed Arlene to learn more about they’re measuring their Twitter campaign and what they’re learning.

1.   What is the objective of the Twitter campaign?  How are you defining success?  How will you measure it?

Since 2009, we’ve posted a weekly first-person success story and podcast on our My Story blog. We realized we were about to publish our 150th story on Labor Day and decided this was too much of a coincidence not to capitalize on. With the elections coming up in November and the unemployment rate still at 8 percent, a lot of the current conversation around jobs is mired in negativity and debate.

We wanted to approach the need for employment and training opportunities from a more positive angle, demonstrating through first-person success stories the remarkable impact that finding a job can have on individuals and their families.   We also want people who are currently unemployed or looking to advance their careers to view Goodwill as a resource for their career and education needs.

Because of the project’s scale, we opted to use Twitter as our communications channel instead of Facebook.  We identified two quantitative success measures, Twitter impressions and content sharing. Based on past performance, we’re hoping to achieve more than 1 million unique impressions on Twitter and increase the rate of sharing among new and existing supporters by more than 30 percent relative to our baselines.

We’ll also be monitoring Twitter for qualitative success indicators like on-mission comments from new and existing Goodwill supporters. For example, after re-tweeting one of our stories, one supporter wrote: “@GoodwillIntl: THANK YOU for the amazing work you do. You continue making a difference and investing in people to be the best they can be.”

2.   What best practices or tactics are you using to implement this campaign on Twitter?

First, we’re timing the campaign to draw increased attention to our mission at a time when people are naturally talking about employment and jobs.  We’re using a unique hashtag to curate the conversation (#150Jobs) that isn’t already in use.  Hopefully the powerful, compelling and shareable quotes we’re using in our messaging will make people want to click through to read the full stories. A few other tactics:

•                    Using HootSuite to mass schedule the 1 X per hour posts, and to generate trackable links
•                    Providing messaging for our partners employees at our network of 165 Goodwill agencies to encourage them to participate in the campaign
•                    Adding a live #150Jobs Twitter feed to our homepage and referencing our on blog page.



3.   You mentioned this is an experiment, can you tell me more about how your organization experiments and evolves aspects of its social media practice/strategy?

First, we have a culture that supports innovation. Our team was swamped with projects when our Blog Manager Jenni Baker brainstormed ideas with us — she eventually landed on this concept on her own. We’re happy for team members to move into a project leader role as their skills, time and great ideas converge.  Second, we know that social isn’t always the answer to our organization’s communication needs, but when it is, we evaluate what met our goals on previous similar projects and then allow ourselves a little creative time to continuously improve. Good opportunities to experiment often emerge through our cause partnerships, since we are compelled to find an activation that supports both unique brands.

4.   What advice do you have for others?

A campaign like this wouldn’t be possible on Twitter without the great repository of content already developed on our blog and website. An initiative like this also demonstrates how content can have a life beyond the week or two after it’s posted. Think creatively about content and other digital assets and how they might be put to new use. These first-person stories are powerful – if that strategy works for you, equip as many qualified, on-the-ground staff with the resources they need to regularly collect these stories.  Be sure to get signed releases for these folks. The stories are great for social media, as well as advocacy efforts, resource development, online giving solicitations and more.

How has your organization measured the effectiveness and success of using Twitter?   How has your organization considered extending the shelf life of its content strategy?

10 Responses

  1. Adam Stiska says:

    Thanks, Beth! We wanted to let you know how things turned out.

    Goodwill was pleased with the results of our #150jobs campaign. We more than quadrupled the targeted number of unique Twitter impressions and many individual story tweets had two to three times their normal reach. We also experienced qualitative gains with many tweeps going above and beyond simple RTs to direct positive comments and brand mentions towards us.

    We are proud to help tell the stories of the people we serve, and were very happy with the campaign’s response.

    Thanks again,

    Adam Stiska
    Online Media Manager
    Goodwill Industries International

  2. MarketingMan says:

    How are you tracking your Twitter impressions?

  3. […] about how networked nonprofits can use social media. In a September 3rd post on Beth’s Blog, Goodwill Industries International have a perfect example of how they utilized a Twitter campaign to educate, motivate, and spread the […]

  4. Beth Kanter says:

    Thanks Adam ! What tools did you use to measure this?

  5. Adam Stiska says:

    We use a combination of Radian6 to track unique Twitter impressions and our Twitter Ads account analytics to inform reach baselines and metrics.

    Thanks for your questions!


  6. MarketingMan says:

    Do you know of any more affordable options than Radian tnat small business or nonprofits might be able to utilize? Radian discounts for nonprofits up to 50%, but even at that rate it’s still a full 10% of my marketing budget . . .

  7. TJ Gioconda says:

    Hootsuite is a great place to start to get some basic measuring metrics and reports. Their “Pro” service starts at $10 a month with the ability to increase your purchase as reporting needs grow with no contracts.

    Also, you can still use a combination of free services such as and Google Analytics to infer your success online. It may not have the flexibility and reach that Radian6 has, but it is a great start.

    Finally, two of the “major three” (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) have great analytic services built into them. Twitter has unfortunately not allowed their metrics public to everyone yet but Facebook and Youtube are. If you have not checked out Youtube’s analytics it is a shinning example of an amazing (and free) content focused metrics tool that should be an example to others.


    TJ Gioconda
    Social Media Specialist, Online Media Team
    Goodwill Industries International

  8. […] How Goodwill International is Celebrating Labor Day […]

  9. MarketingMan says:

    Quit using HootSuite years ago when they went to a paid model (before their analytics were useful apparently). Have a hard time respecting the reel-em-in-with-a-free-service-then-charge-later website model, and four years later they are still sending us irreverent warnings that we’re overdue and our accounts are going to be deleted (when we never opted into the paid version and haven’t logged in in four years!).

    Anyway, I suppose I may have to give them another look if that’s the case *grumble*

    Really, all I want to be able to see is the number of tweets posted to my account on a monthly basis, and despite a myriad of research and the inane number of Twitter related sites out there, I’ve yet to find something that will tell me that! So if you know of how I can find that particular number without counting through my stream, I’d be eternally grateful 🙂

  10. TJ Gioconda says:

    If you go to you can see how many people you follow, how many follow you, and how many tweets you have pushed out daily. It is pay for some of their more robust stats but this may be what you are looking for. If it is I will take my gratefulness in 1 month installments. 😉

    Joking aside, I hope this all helped and you enjoyed the #150job campaign. Best of luck.


    TJ Gioconda
    Social Media Specialist, Online Media Team
    Goodwill Industries International