Success Case Study: “350.org”
350.org is a case study that highlights how social media can be used effectively to engage youth. The indicators of success for youth engaged through social media highlighted in this case include: the fact that youth have not only engaged with social media but have taken concrete actions such as writing a letter, changing behaviour, or engaging in deeper personal reflection; the fact that it uses clear indicators for evaluating the success of the event (number of people at events, number of events, participants in local groups, etc.); the fact that it is both place-based and virtual; the fact that there is a progression from low to high commitment; and the fact that it offers multiple prongs for engagement or involvement.
350.org is a unifying campaign that has advanced a global movement to solve the climate crisis. They offer a wide range of opportunities for people to engage, and effectively reinforce their actions on the ground through the use of social media.
Levels of Engagement through Social Media Platforms
With simple goals, multiple access points and different levels of involvement, 350.org is a strong example of effective engagement through social media. It employs a multi-phase model of engagement that ranges from high to low commitment and builds momentum by moving individuals towards increasing their commitment and engagement across the campaign:
Level 1: Knowledge and Awareness Building; Showing Affiliation
- ‘Like’ on Facebook
- Follow Twitter feed
- Join email list
- Buy 350 t-shirts, buttons and other branded gear.
Level 2: Effective Attendance at Events
- Mass public actions – incorporate easy ways for people to participate in mass public actions.
- People attend events that are centralized around specific days so everyone can take action on that day.
- Take photos, upload and tag them them at live events (Flickr).
- Generates momentum by creating a buzz and documenting the event (Live Tweeting, live streams).
- Participating in educational components to the event.
Level 3: Organizing – equipping people with the knowledge and resources to both learn and influence.
- People can take and use their graphics, logos, or templates.
- Organizing Guides and Project Ideas
- Web Resources
- Printable Fact Sheets or Sign Up Sheets