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Andy’s Answers: How REI used Facebook Places to support local nonprofits

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

In his recent BlogWell presentation, REI’s manager of digital engagement, Jordan Williams, took us behind the scenes of how the company explored Facebook Places to support charitable causes.

Jordan shares how it got the program off the ground, what worked, what didn’t, and what the company learned from it all.

A few of his big ideas:

  • Do something that you’re already good at. Many geo-social promotions have a deal or coupon tied along to it. REI decided to change that norm and give a donation to a nonprofit for each check-in, which helped drive awareness for REI’s corporate core tenant of supporting nonprofits.
  • Design something that has multiple audiences. REI had the end consumer as an audience, but also considered its nonprofit partners as a secondary audience. The company ended up with a network of 68 nonprofits talking about REI and the promotion.
  • Use the opportunity to roll out social as a local effort within individual stores. Throughout the promotion, the company talked to each store’s retail staff across the country, which raised front-line employees’ awareness of the company’s corporate social media efforts. Each store then got to choose which nonprofit would benefit from money raised through check-ins at their store, which helped with overall buy-in.