Should your next campaign invest in a Thunderclap? If you're looking to build some social media support, I'm thinking it just might be worth it.

I've had the pleasure of building a successful Thunderclap for my new book on social media and personal branding, Getting to Like. Side note: if you're interested, you can support Getting to Like here - the campaign runs until 11:30 a.m. ET on June 1, 2016.

But let's backtrack for a second: what exactly is a Thunderclap? From their own website:

Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. Think of it as an "online flash mob." Join a Thunderclap, and you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading an idea through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr that cannot be ignored.

When you join a Thunderclap, you're allowing the app to share a single message on your behalf on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr - you get to pick. After the campaign is complete, Thunderclap won't post any additional messages on your behalf.

Plenty of authors and other artists have built up a groundwell of support for their initiatives using Thunderclap. "I sold a good amount of books and got a lot of attention," says Jodi Okun, author of Secrets of A Financial Aid Pro and sought-after keynote speaker. "My community was mostly good about it; others said that it was spammy."

Indeed, that's one of the keys to any successful campaign: make sure to marry automation with targeting. In my case, I created a large, curated Twitter list, and then sent automated Direct Messages to the entire list over a period of a week, inviting people to participate in the Thunderclap. I didn't want to target people who wouldn't be receptive to my message. Inevitably, I received a few rude responses from people who don't enjoy automation - but that represented roughly 5 responses out of 1000 or so users that I messaged.

Indeed, the power of your own community is really what will make or break your Thunderclap campaign. "Loved!," said Aliza Licht, the former DKNY PR executive and author of Leave Your Mark. "It's a great way to focus a launch. Of course, success depends on your network." Licht isn't wrong; if you want a campaign like a Thunderclap to work, you simply must make sure you're doing things for your community whenever possible. Don't ask for favors when you're unwilling to do anything for others.

I've spoken to a few other authors for this piece since I'm an author myself, but Thunderclap works pretty well for other initiatives when you're looking to build a groundswell of support. AmeriCorps L'Oreal, and Planned Parenthood are just a few of the organizations that have run successful Thunderclap campaigns. You can review Thunderclaps' entire list of case studies for other initiatives that have done well on the platform.

Think you're interested in running a Thunderclap? Try it out and let me know what you think. And if you're interested, you can support Getting to Like here - the campaign runs until 11:30 a.m. ET on June 1, 2016.

Published on: May 31, 2016
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