A Closer Look at the Human Rights Campaign's Facebook Phenomenon
Angie is away enjoying some much deserved time off, so she asked me to share some thoughts for this week's post.
Since I was curious about this, I thought you also might enjoy a "behind-the-scenes" look at the incredible events of this past March. Do you remember the last days in March? Remember what happened online? Hint: huge changes in Facebook profile pictures? Well, you should remember, because what happened was the single largest social-media event. Ever.
Of course, I'm talking about the Human Rights Campaign's Go Red for Marriage Equality campaign. This social-media effort impacted millions of Facebook profile pictures in what seemed like the blink of an eye — well, just a few short days. My first task was to identify the right people at HRC who could help me understand the who, what, where and how.
My friend Ann Crowley, director of membership and online strategy at HRC, connected me with Lindsey Twombly, the organization's associate director of online mobilization and social media. Lindsey is quick to tell me she is part of a team, but just a couple moments into our conversation, I could tell she had an incredible passion for her work and is no stranger to "online, full time." She was excited to share details about what it was like to ride an online tsunami — and a peek at what is on the horizon. I spoke with Lindsey about what her team learned and how HRC plans to convert these tens of thousands of supporters — and of course, what's next.
First, it's important to know this was not a serendipitous event. HRC had been working on an overarching media strategy for five years, preparing for an event like the Supreme Court arguments of late March. What the team had not prepared for was the overwhelming response. Consider this: Facebook measures profile picture changes from Tuesday to Tuesday. On March 26, 2.7 million more people had changed their profile pictures than on an average Tuesday — the highest change ever recorded. That's the single best snapshot available of impact, but anyone online saw it continue to roll well into April. Lindsey and the HRC team helped with rolling out red logo images so new supporters could easily join in.