5 things you should know before launching a Thunderclap campaign - Welsh ICE

5 things you should know before launching a Thunderclap campaign

27th September 2016

Rachel Harris

A few weeks back, we had a really important announcement and wanted to shout pretty loudly about it to anyone who would listen. Which is where Thunderclap came in.

Thunderclap example

What is Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a really awesome tool that allows a single message to be broadcast simultaneously across your social networks. It’s a really effective way to get a message out to as many people as possible all at once as it literally works like a thunderclap through social media, reverberating through Twitter, Facebook and (perhaps less helpfully) Tumblr.

This was only the second time we’ve used Thunderclap but we think we may have picked up a thing or two. Here are the 5 things you should know if you’re thinking about launching your own campaign.

1) Make it a good message

This probably goes without saying but it’s worth shouting about anyway. Thunderclap will give you a character limit of 117 (plus your link, to keep it compatible with Twitter) so your message needs to be really concise and engaging. Include a hashtag or two to reach an even broader audience or get your message trending. Linking to a live event or video would be a great way to keep people interested.

2) Confirm your campaign at least 3 days before you want it to go live

Thunderclap's Approved message
All Thunderclap campaigns need up to three days to be approved internally before they go live. So unless you want to pay the fee to rush your approval through in 24 hours (from $55 ) then you should make sure it’s created with plenty of time to spare. (We chose the free option and our campaign was approved in 18 hours, so sometimes it works out the same anyway.)

3) Target the right people (at the right time)

You may be tempted to just ask all your friends and family to support your campaign to get those numbers up, and that’s fine – the more the merrier. However it would be shame to put all the time and effort into your campaign and not have it reach the audience you were actually targeting. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your contacts. Drum up support in your Facebook and LinkedIn groups, DM influencers on Twitter, and drop emails to any contacts you have with the right social reach. The worst they can do is ignore you or say no (and they probably won’t).

And remember – timing is everything. Use online tools like Twitter Analytics or Facebook Insights (shown below) to see when your audience is most active to increase your clicks, shares and retweets.

Facebook analytics

4) 100 supporters doesn’t necessarily mean 100 accounts

We admit: we were sat here scratching our heads a little as we watched accounts signing up but our supporter count ticking away at a slightly slower rate. The reason for this (which isn’t made particularly explicit) is that Thunderclap will only count unique supporters, which means that if it sees a Joe Bloggs signing up from Twitter right after a Joe Bloggs signs up from Facebook, then it will go right ahead and count that as one supporter (at least some of the time).

Thunderclap stats
ICE, for example, had 72 Facebook supporters and 76 Twitter supporters, which worked out at 121 supporters overall – so try and aim for 20-40% above your target to make sure you’re definitely covered.

5) Facebook is not your friend

This one might be a little unfair. Facebook is a great tool to use for social media marketing and for getting your messages out there in general – but it also has some features that work against Thunderclap campaigns in a big way. You’ve probably already seen that when more than one of your friends shares an identical link that Facebook will collate that into a ‘Joe Bloggs and 2 other friends have shared a link’ post. This lessens the impact of your Thunderclap, as even if 50 of your friends have signed up, the message will only appear once in your/their newsfeed.

Thunderclap on Facebook
The other problem is that Facebook appears to treat Thunderclap like spam – probably due to the number of post at exactly the same time. So the story might not feature high up in people’s newsfeeds – if at all…

The Result

So do we recommend using Thunderclap? In a word – yes. The campaign produced a significant increase in page views and applications, and we reached a good portion of our target audience.

For a free tool, Thunderclap is pretty great – though we’re still holding out for an option for supporters to sign up with LinkedIn and Instagram (which seems like the natural next step).

Remember, your campaign doesn’t end with the Thunderclap – it’s just beginning. Use the sudden exposure to your advantage and get people hooked when they visit your link. You’ll want to keep them interested with follow up tweets and posts too.

So good luck, and happy thunderclapping!


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