21 Reasons For Social Media

21 Reasons For Social Media

Up until this year the World Down Syndrome Congress has taken place every three years. The last time it was in the UK was 32 years ago, so getting the Congress was a big coup for Down’s Syndrome Scotland.

Ticket prices were £296.00 for a family member and £347.00 – £523.00 for a professional. The actual cost represented huge value for the delegates who had access to 160 speakers and some of the top experts in the world on health and education for people with Down’s syndrome.

However, the ticket sales were poor in the lead up to the Congress. Less than 400 tickets had been bought. The target was 1200 for break even. For a small charity, who were picking up any losses, the potential for a negative impact was high.

Awareness and ticket sales were imperative, and the best way to get to the target market was through a highly visible social media campaign. We came up with the ’21 Reasons’ campaign. 21 because the extra 21st chromosome is the contributing factor in a person being born with Down’s syndrome.

It’s important when creating a social media campaign that a theme runs through it. This theme should be able to be developed across all potential social media channels.

We needed to make an instant impact so we took the ‘21 Reasons’ theme and created 21 videos of the 21 places of interest to visit in Glasgow. These videos were presented by Sam, Stuart and Andrew, three of the Lead Commissioners for the Congress. Each video was scheduled to go out on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube at 1.21pm each day.


We then created a bank of graphic posts, some on the main benefits of the Congress for parents, people with Down’s syndrome and professionals. Other graphic posts were calls to action – Only 21 days to go, etc.

Then we approached celebrities, families and speakers to create their own short films on why people should book tickets at the Congress. Greg Laidlaw, Lorraine Kelly, Eve Muirhead, Finn Russell and John Beattie, amongst others sent us videos on why it was so exciting that the Congress was coming to Glasgow. Professionals sent us videos on the topics they were speaking about at the Congress. Young people with Down’s syndrome sent us their videos on what they were looking forward to, and parents sent us videos on why they were attending, and why they thought it so important to support the Congress.

Video is a huge part of any social media campaign. Individual videos were watched by up to 20,000 people, whilst graphic content attracted hundreds of views rather than thousands.  Over the whole three month campaign we had 271.3K video views, people, with over 76.2K minutes of video watched.



But the most important statistic of all was the ticket sales. The 400 ticket sales three months before the Congress rose to 1300 tickets by the time the Congress started.

The ‘21 Reasons’ campaign highlights what we believe social media campaigns should all be about. Brand awareness and brand building are obvious objectives of any marketing campaign, but we believe that marketing should be cost neutral, and that attracting custom and sales should be at the heart of any social media campaign.

There were, of course, far more than 21 reasons why the World Down Syndrome Congress was such an amazing event. It was a life affirming, wonderful three days, where people from all over the world came together at the SEC in Glasgow and shared their own experiences.

Many of these experiences were also shared – guess where?

On social media.