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5 Seconds for Social Change via Instavid

The average text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. That’s enough time to…

What Can You Do in 5 Seconds?

It turns out quite a lot. That’s the idea behind a social media initiative my agency GolinHarris developed for the Stop the Texts campaign, the Ad Council and NHTSA’s texting while driving prevention effort. I’ve been a Community Manager for this campaign for about the past two years, writing and posting on behalf of the campaign across various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. During this time I’ve learned a few valuable lessons about how to create a successful social media strategy. Here are my top tips for community managers:

Find a Key Concept

We have our core facts and tips that drive our social media content for Stop the Texts. One key statistic that we’ve found most compelling is the fact that the average text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds when you’re texting while driving.  So that idea became the theme of this campaign: we would highlight how dangerous taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is by illustrating all the other things that you can do in that time period.

Do Your Research

As a journalism major in college I heard the phrase “show, don’t tell” quite often. The same goes for storytelling in social media. By staying up to date on the latest social media research, our team knew that visual content on social media can be twice as engaging as a standard text post. Knowing that fact, we knew that we had to make our campaign concept visual.

Pick Your Platform

Once you have your idea formed, you have to decide how to best execute it. As our team was brainstorming this idea, the social network Vine was becoming popular, and we decided that it would be a great fit due to the fact that users on Vine can post a looping video of up to six seconds—which almost perfectly correlates to the amount of time that we were trying to illustrate.

Be Flexible

We quickly realized as we started to create these videos that six seconds wasn’t going to be long enough to get our point across. We wanted to have an opening slide on our videos that introduced the concept, then five seconds of video footage, and then an ending slide featuring our campaign information. So we adapted our plan to use the platform of Instagram instead since Instavids can be up to 15 seconds in length.

Be Creative

After all the initial work was done came the fun part! Sure, there are lots of things you can do in five seconds, but we had to make videos that were going to be fun and interesting. So we collaborated with our colleagues in the GolinHarris Los Angeles office and came up with juggling, an “office musical,” hugging a big teddy bear, shooting baskets in an arcade, having a pillow fight, frosting a cupcake, and painting an Easter egg. You can see all the videos here.

Share Share Share!

There’s no point in creating awesome content if no one is going to see it! The great thing about social media is that though you want to keep your content fresh and interesting, there will always be new opportunities and ways to repurpose it. April 5 conveniently was National Pillow Fight Day, which was the perfect day for us to launch that video.  As we monitor social media and spot influencers discussing the issue of distracted driving, we can send them one of our videos to increase exposure. Still not too late to retweet us, TODAY Show! ;)

Guest Blogger Brooke Miller
Written by Guest Blogger Brooke Miller

Brooke Miller is a Digital Manager at public relations firm GolinHarris, managing digital communications and social media strategy for a variety of clients. GolinHarris is a holistic communications firm designed and built to help clients win in a complex, connected world. Key to our work is The Bridge(r) which is our award-winning global network of real-time, multi-media engagement centers that enables our teams to take advantage of short-term opportunities to share clients’ stories and maximize planned storytelling windows. In the early mornings and evenings she relives her ballerina days as a certified Bar Method Instructor teaching in both the Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD studios. She graduated from George Washington University with a major in Journalism and a minor in Dance.

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