Although it is still very important to go out onto the street to reach people, we think that using social media in a highly targeted way is the most efficient way to spread information, ideas, and impulses of thinking. Therefore, we decided to run a well planned social media campaign, in which we wanted to show the importance of Vitamin B12. Telling a story with different chapters about the red vitamin, we wanted to get peoples' attention on facebook. Moreover, we made our campaign going viral.
In Germany, Facebook is by far the most important social media platform (far ahead of for instance Twitter), so we focused on that. After analyzing our previous Facebook posts, we found out that including pictures of human faces in our posts causes significantly higher attention than those who did not include human faces. In result, including faces increases the number of likes and shares, which then again increases the number of re-likes and re-shares. The total number of likes and shares determine how many people will see our post in the end.
For this reason, we decided to combine the introduction of our team members with interesting facts about Vitamin B12. The trend of posting facts as a catchy picture currently generates many followers on Facebook. Combined with nice pictures of us, our campaign was supposed to inform many users. Moreover, it was also intended to generate new site followers to generally increase the outreach of our Facebook page, to reach even more people for future posts.
The result was amazing. Reaching up to over 1,200 people per post, the outreach was by far higher than any street campaign would have been. Many of our friends told us that they found our campaign very interesting, and asked what this iGEM competition might be. Of course, no question remained unanswered.
We can only encourage future iGEM Teams to use social media for reaching the public, and to put a very high focus on it.