Best Social Campaigns 2018

Since 2018 brought us contentious and divisive midterms, it not surprising that solidarity movements played out over social media with slightly more of an edge than they did in 2017 or 2016. This year, the social campaigns that grabbed us expressed a new level of urgency, around social equality, human rights, health issues. So, buckle up for our review of this year’s most impactful social campaigns. Let’s see what we can learn from them.

5 Best Social Campaigns of 2018

1. #BelieveWomen (Related: #BelieveSurvivors, #HearMeToo)

One of the best reasons to keep an eye on social campaigns is that they often mirror issues our nation is grappling with. That’s why it wasn’t surprising that #BelieveWomen, #BelieveSurvivors, and #HearMeToo were trending around the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. Seen as a natural progeny of last year’s #MeToo movement, the hashtag was used to express solidarity with Dr. Ford when she came before a judicial committee (and the whole nation) to recount an alleged attempted rape by Supreme Court candidate Kavanaugh. Eloquent, yet nervous, Dr. Ford unflinchingly answered questions. And while her appearance was seen as partisan by the GOP, it would be difficult to listen to her testimony and not see the toll that experience has left on her. Many women chimed in with personal stories of assault, attempted assault, support, and solidarity. 

To say that #BelieveWomen made an impact in a short time period would be an understatement. The clamor of voices made mainstream publications, such as the New Yorker, take notice. 

2. #registertovote and #becounted

Presidents often face an indictment of their administration during the midterms following their election. This one was no different. Democrats led the charge in mobilizing voters to allow voices to be heard during the 2018 election cycle. With a comprehensive strategy that had a heavy social media component and a legion of volunteers, the goal was to galvanize communities of color, ex-convict populations, and other disenfranchised voters to take part in the elections and elect officials aligned with their best interests. And it worked! This election had the highest turnout of any in the last century with 50.1%.

3. #familiesbelongtogether (Related: #childrendonotbelongincages, @RaicesTexas)

In spring of this year, images went viral of detained children lying on concrete floors behind wire fences in an otherwise anonymous building. Turns out these specific images were four years old, and sparked not only outrage but a debate on the evolution of an ongoing human rights crisis. Most notably, children were increasingly separated at the border from their asylum-seeking parents and placed in makeshift facilities without freedom of movement or choice. @RaicesTexas picked up the spark and mobilized donations for legal costs.

4. #NotOneMore (Related: @everytown, #gunviolenceprotection, #gunsafety, #disarmhate, #GunSenseMajority, #WearOrange, #EndGunViolence, #StudentsDemandAction)

School shootings are a little too commonplace these days. That’s why the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are angry that this particular American tragedy visited their campus on Valentine’s Day this year.  Much like #familesbelongtogether this cause has an associated nonprofit @everytown and multiple hashtags that are used in conjunction with the movement, most notably the poignant #NotOneMore. (If it isn’t obvious referencing the belief that even one more school shooting is too much.)

5. #TransRightsAreHumanRights (Related: #WeWontBeErased, #lgbtqia, #genderfluid, #theythem)

On October 21, The New York Times published a piece about a memo they obtained that outlined an effort by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance.

In its memo, the department argued that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency proposed the definition of sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by genitals that a person is born with. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing. Unsurprisingly, the response on social media was swift, as were the organized spontaneous rallies. Many in the LGBTQIA took it as a signal that the administration was further wearing away human rights protections. 

Best Social Campaigns of 2018: Takeaways

PR and marketing pros are used to keeping in front of the shifting norms of social media campaigns and spotting what makes something viral. We saw that, much like last year, accessing an influencer’s audience can amplify a cause that might otherwise be buried under an avalanche of social media messages.

But we did notice some key differences in this year’s social approach. For the first time, activists are including clusters of organic hashtags around one idea. Previously, it seemed that there was one-to-one (one idea = one hashtag) usage. This evolution allows room for brands to launch their own hashtags in support of an idea, especially if a company is firmly in support of a specific agenda. To keep track of these shifting hashtags, you’ll want to update your media intelligence dashboard.

And, if you’re uncertain of which popular hashtag(s) to include in your related social posts, consider seeing who is using which hashtags. It makes sense to be strategic and choose the hashtag(s) that either your brand’s influencers or big influencers like Chelsea Clinton/ the Kardashians are already using.

This year, as with the last five, many movements originated on and gained traction through social. Using social channels with their inherent viral nature has enabled causes to raise awareness and millions of dollars in donations. Since the pace of social media is unlikely to slow in 2019 keeping up with shifting tactics in campaign creation will be paramount to seeing success.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you plan for a robust social campaign. Please reach out.

PR Trendspotting: Meet the New Tool to Help You Spot Trends on the Go

Trendspotting, trendjacking, and trend-forecasting are popular strategies savvy communicators use to help their messages gain traction. Now there’s a simple app to quickly validate those trend-driven narratives using advanced media and social analytics: Meet Meltwater’s Mobile Explore.

We created Mobile Explore to help PR pros instantly drill into trending topics no matter where ideas happen—whether it’s at the airport gate or on a commuter train. This is rooted in Meltwater’s mobile-first philosophy that communicators should be able to do more than just monitor their brand on the go—they should be able to access critical media intelligence tools wherever their PR management happens. Now, all Meltwater clients can access the Mobile Explore tool for free within our Meltwater Mobile—just update or download from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.


From CMOs to PR managers, our clients often tell us about the type of work that occurs on the go. That’s why our Meltwater Mobile app has been rapidly expanding over the last few years to support many of the key functions communicators need when they’re away from their desks, from news alerts to sharing dashboard analytics.

We believe mobile media intelligence should do more than just help PR managers perform tasks when they’re away from their laptops. Strategizing, brainstorming, campaign ideas—they all happen on the go, as well. Mobile Explore goes beyond simply helping to execute to-do items on the road, but supports testing out those ideas as they happen with the ability to search topics and drill into how those trends are performing. It’s a tool that’s unique to our mobile suite. No more scribbling notes with reminders to research a topic later, shallow browser searches or waiting until you get to your computer to share information. Mobile Explore gives you all the capabilities of vetting a topic and collaborating with colleagues.

Mobile Explore serves up the most influential content first, so you don’t have to manually scroll to find what matters to you most. Customize your experience with a number of configurable tools:

  • Sort search results however you like, from relevance to reach
  • Search up to three months of news & social content
  • View news & social search results together or separately (including broadcast content, if you’re a subscriber)
  • Share, tag or translate any article

Already we’ve heard back from our clients about how they plan to use Mobile Explore—from crisis comms to impromptu brainstorming sessions and more. Curious to see Mobile Explore in action? Contact us for a demo and learn more about Meltwater’s media and social intelligence solutions.

Are you a Meltwater client? Get started with Meltwater Mobile today, including Mobile Explore, in iOS or Android.

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