Food Bank Bags $15k with Cause Marketing, Social Media

I love examples of local cause marketing, especially when they involve social media.

Take the recent partnership between Massage Envy and Second Harvest Food Bank in the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California.

Huh? You might be thinking. Massage Envy has 600 locations nationwide. Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the largest national hunger relief charity in the U. S. with 200 locations in all 50 states.

It's hard to think of these two as local, but they are.

Massage Envy are franchised stores. In Santa Clara they're run by regional developer Charles Goodwin. He and his wife are local supporters of the food bank and he came up with the idea of having a social media challenge with the charity.

Second Harvest Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America. But they're an independent food bank in many ways. They have their own logo and didn't change their name after the 2008 brand makeover to the parent organization.

We can learn a lot from what these two organizations did in December.

It started with Massage Envy putting up $15,000 and challenging the food bank's supporters to earn it via social media.

  • “Like” the food bank’s Facebook Page ($5)
  • Comment on the page or “like” any posting ($2)
  • Follow them on Twitter ($5)
  • RT or mention Twitter handle, @2ndharvest ($2)
  • Post a photo showing your support on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr (bonus $5 each!)

Goodwin wasn't asking the food bank to do the impossible, which already had an active blog, thousands of friends on Facebook and lots of Twitter followers to boot.

This is one food bank that knew how to butter its own bread. You should too if you want to replicate its success.

Not surprisingly, the food bank hit its goal and got the $15k. I bet it got some great new, engaged fans too. I'm sure Massage Envy benefited also from all the people who took took notice of their wonderful support.

I really admire Charles Goodwin and Massage Envy for cause marketing the right way. They made it all about the cause. And in doing so, people will never forget him or his company. If only more companies knew the power of forgetting themselves and focusing on making a difference.

Karma really does exist