Recently, while considering a small Facebook advertising campaign to grow Young Progressive Voices’ audience, I was approached by a friend of mine that runs a large Facebook page (Give A Shit About Nature), and told that I shouldn’t be giving money to Facebook; he said it was a waste of money. Instead, I should do what many people do — prompt fans to share something for a cause — but have it represent something concrete, thus generating traffic for my page but putting the money toward a nobler purpose.
More specifically, he suggested that I offer to have one tree planted per one share, and set an upper cap depending on affordability. The charity he suggested was Trees for the Future, which plants millions of trees around the world, fighting climate change, soil degradation, fighting poverty, and restoring forests where lack of regulations and poor resource management have resulted in vast destruction.
Aiming at 1,000 shares, I created the following image:
It reached our cap — 1,000 — within a couple days, netting us a few hundred new fans:
Interestingly, it took about 35,000 impressions to get the requisite number of shares (we planned on donating the same amount regardless of shares, or just promoting the image until it hit the cap). At a cost of $0.10 per tree, it cost us only $100 to have 1,000 trees planted through Trees for the Future.
The success of this first campaign has ensure it will be just that — the first. If we can raise awareness at the same time as advertising and donating to charity, it sounds like a brilliant idea to us. Although we’re likely going to expand the number of charities we donate to, we’ll probably keep them centered on those working toward a sustainable future.
Also, we won’t be recording these as charitable donations on our part when it comes to taxes — this is advertising spending.
Please note that all donations to YPV are spent on advertising to grow our audience. If you’d like more info on donating to YPV, go here.