In 1994, brothers Bert and John Jacobs started a t-shirt company built on optimism and called it Life is Good. Today, the company successfully sells apparel of all sorts branded with optimistic messaging. But the company doesn’t just say “life is good”, it also knows life isn’t good for everyone just yet.
To make life better for at least some people, the clothing company donates 10% of its net profit to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. The Foundation works to counteract adverse childhood experiences among disadvantaged kids by allowing them to build life-changing relationships with trusted adults, so-called Playmakers. The program supports more than 1 million kids each year.
The #SomethingGood hashtag campaign
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Life is Good ran a hashtag campaign for donations in the summer of 2019. For every post using the hashtag #SomethingGood, the company donated $1 to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. $1 million were raised over the course of the campaign.
Posts from the campaign were displayed on a Walls.io social wall, which was embedded on the campaign website. Users could take part via Twitter, Instagram, as well as an upload form that sent posts straight to the social wall as native posts.
We talked to two folks from the Life is Good team — Lauren Sorenson, Senior Brand Manager, and Chris Schwab, Front End Engineer — about the campaign and the technical integration of the social wall.
Senior Brand Manager, Life is Good
Front End Engineer, Life is Good
Tell us about your #SomethingGood campaign? What are you hoping to achieve, and how are you using a social wall to help you achieve your goal?
Chris: To celebrate Life is Good’s 25th anniversary, we’re spreading the power of optimism and helping kids heal from trauma. For every #SomethingGood shared, $1 is donated to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. Our goal is to inspire 1 million people to share #SomethingGood and donate a million dollars.
Lauren: With this campaign, we are hoping to help shift online conversations toward the good that’s going on in the world. We know that life is not easy, life is not perfect, but life is good. We believe that focusing on opportunities vs focusing on what’s wrong, can lead to more progress and growth. Additionally, we are hoping to increase Life is Good’s brand awareness during the campaign by highlighting positivity and showcasing the brand on new channels.
Why is Walls.io the right product for you?
Chris: Using Walls.io removes the complexities of aggregating posts from various social channels so we could hit the ground running with our campaign. Instead of pulling in posts from various sources, we were able to focus on the UX of our landing page and strategy for this year-long campaign.
Walls.io has a robust API that we were quickly able to hook into and pull our collection of posts into a custom landing page. Walls.io also has fantastic customer/developer support between their documentation and super-responsive live chat agents. Any time I ran into a snag, they were there to help in real-time.
How and where are you promoting the campaign and the hashtag? Are you showing the social wall somewhere other than your website?
Lauren: Since this is our most significant campaign of the year, we’re promoting the campaign through a variety of different avenues, LifeisGood.com and Life is Good’s owned social channels (a community of more than 3 million).
Additionally, we’ve been working with paid media partners to promote the campaign across music streaming channels and online publications, as well as influencers and friends of the brand. Also, at this time, we launched the Life is Good Ping Podcast, a podcast all about optimism. Each guest, from Ringo Starr to Katie Couric, shared #SomethingGood as part of their interview.
Currently, the only location we’re showing the feed is on Lifeisgood.com, but for a while, we displayed the collection feed in our office using a large-screen display TV broadcasting users’ shares in real-time.
You’re giving people the option to upload their posts directly via your website. How are you using the Walls.io API to feed those posts into your social wall automatically?
Chris: We wanted to give people the ability to post #SomethingGood directly from a custom landing page on our website, whether or not they belonged to a traditional social media outlet. To achieve this, we built a simple form and hooked it into the Walls.io API to add posts to our wall in real-time.
Our customers can provide their name, email (optional), a brief message, and an optional image or video. The API documentation that Walls provided made this connection a breeze. Our users love that they can submit #SomethingGood and then immediately see their post on our wall.
#SomethingGood is a great hashtag, but I suspect that it’s a reasonably popular hashtag used for generic posts as well. How are you dealing with posts that are potentially not related to your campaign?
Chris: The Walls.io dashboard is extremely user-friendly and provides robust moderation tools. Out of the box, it uses artificial intelligence to filter spam posts based on text and image analysis automatically. There is also the ability to show/hide posts by language or a custom word blacklist.
We initially filtered for English-only posts, but then decided that it would be better to let the whole world share #SomethingGood. The AI moderation tools have taken the grunt work out of the equation, and in the rare case of a double post or something slips past the automated filters, there are easy to use manual moderation tools.
A more inclusive campaign with a direct upload form
I love that while Walls.io offers many features out of the box, our API allows our customers to build whatever they need by hooking their tools, apps, forms, etc. straight into the API.
This way, they’re able to connect not just to the social wall but also use various social media networks without having to deal with each API separately (which, as most developers know, can be a real pain).
The #SomethingGood donations campaign used this beautifully to give people a chance to take part in a hashtag campaign even if they didn’t have or didn’t want to use social media accounts. It’s a great way to make hashtag campaigns more open and accessible by not restricting them to just the most avid social media users. A simple upload form that feeds post into the social wall can do the trick.