FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is the world’s leading nonprofit helping young people discover a passion for STEM. It allows kids to develop both self-confidence and valuable, real-world skills that can open pathways to all types of career choices.
FIRST® hosts various robotics competitions for different age groups. The challenge changes every year but asks participants to build robots that can complete a specific task.
FIRST® partners with the Star Wars: Force for Change charity to launch a yearly robotics competition.
There’s a physical event every year where kids present their accomplishments, inventions and innovations, but FIRST® also uses social media to promote the event and celebrate the teams — both before, during and after the event. They collect and display all social media posts that are tagged with the official hashtag #FIRSTFFC in various places on the website.
Participants around the world work the whole year on the projects that they will present during the championship. FIRST® acknowledges the work that goes into it by inviting teams to share their favourite moments during the season on social media.
The day of the championship is just a fraction of the event. The most important work is done before it. Kids learn how to develop ideas, how to research them and how to tackle unforeseen challenges. They get to share their accomplishments on social media throughout the season. FIRST® shows all those moments on an embedded social wall on the website to serve as inspiration and motivation for others.
Post-event promotion is pre-event promotion
FIRST® runs its robotics events in so-called seasons (just like TV shows, for example). So the end of one season usually marks the imminent arrival of the next one. Consequently, the promotion of seasons is an ongoing effort.
FIRST® uses the tail end of one event to start promoting the next one. The idea is to get current participants and visitors to sign up for the next event as soon as possible. The social wall and other tools are continuously employed to create demand for and buzz about FIRST®’s robotics competitions. After an event has ended, posts on the social wall are already calling attention to upcoming events.
FIRST® has forged a strong partnership with Star Wars: Force for Change, that they also leverage on social media. They regularly publish YouTube Videos featuring actors of the popular franchise. They explain how the championship works, what the goal is and introduce innovative examples. Those famous advocates generate a lot of attention and promote the event to a broader audience based on its love for Star Wars.
Promoting the event on social media is a great way to engage with participants on a global scale and to connect with potential sponsors and donors. Furthermore, potential sponsors visiting the website get to experience the impact of the event thanks to the social media posts collected on the social wall.
The social wall collects and displays content in real-time. Embedding it on the website allows FIRST® to keep the content fresh and updated.