GPA's Testimonial Campaign Creates Buzz on Social Media

Layla El Tannir, for GPA -- The Global Philadelphia Association launched a testimonial campaign this summer to put a face on the association’s activities and to bridge the gap between 2013’s GlobalPhilly Expo and its return scheduled for 2015.

Through market analysis, GPA has uncovered a key to the campaign's success. A consistent mission to strengthen the association’s social media platforms and generate more interest amongst the millennials, beyond links to articles and websites, has connected Philadelphia’s global audience along the four major social media channels.

Social media is an important platform to the organization because it creates something that can be used across multiple channels, ultimately shining a light on the upcoming GlobalPhilly Expo. While it is crucial to get the word out about GlobalPhilly 2015, outreach cannot be limited only to the audience that participated in 2013.

This testimonial campaign is a marketing approach which is designed to highlight GPA members as well as the work of the association in a tasteful manner. Members know what GPA is, but this is an opportunity to create a global focus on Philadelphia as a whole.

Global figures and community leaders featured in the testimonial campaign so far have been Craig Snyder, President of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia; Pam Kosty, Public Relations Director of the Penn Museum; Krista Bard, Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Pennsylvania; Peter Alois, President of Alois Trade Strategies; Meryl Levitz, President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia and Erik Petersons, Education and Outreach Director of the Philadelphia Chamber of Music, with many more to follow in upcoming weeks.

GPA values its members from across all industries. Senior civic and business leaders who are hesitant to invest in social media will benefit from this campaign in a different way than those who are regularly active on social media channels. This campaign will draw attention to them, their businesses and their global actions. The success of their testimonials do not solely depend on their social media activity, but rather how savvy GPA can be in highlighting their work to its audience and creating conversations with followers who may have never heard of them before.

GPA is active on four main social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. With the increasing popularity of visual marketing, a visual component would be both complementary to the written statement of recommendation and relevant to capturing the target market of the city’s global audience. Text and images are used across all four channels for multiple purposes, so multimedia was a focus of this campaign. The testimonial campaign was designed to run over the summer months, purposefully colliding with the FIFA World Cup because of the relevant connections and natural attention to global news that the tournament created.

Another GPA strategy was to create a visual testimonial using a photo of the individual, text of their statement, their name and title. The additions of the Global Philadelphia Association logo, website and Twitter handle were made for branding purposes. One testimonial runs each week, alternating between male and female members. There has been a concerted effort to select a variety of individuals and organizations, to showcase the many ways Philadelphia is active globally.

On Mondays, testimonials are posted on Instagram, on Tuesdays they are posted on Facebook, on Wednesdays, testimonials are shared on Twitter, on Thursdays they are posted on Linkedin and on Fridays it is open for GPA members to promote them across their personal social media accounts when applicable.

The data gathered by GPA illustrates a positive response to the campaign on all four channels, particularly Instagram. The response on each channel was expected to vary slightly, as they are used for different purposes and draw varying amounts of activity, but the success on Instagram has been more than anticipated. Instagram is the most visual based social media channel, with a large millennial following and the capacity to include many relevant hashtags to attract a larger audience. If businesses are interested in using a similar model for a testimonial campaign, then Instagram will serve as the ultimate test of success.

Statistics from the campaign showed that interaction via “Likes” on Instagram were almost quadruple that of “Likes” on Facebook and “Favorites” on Twitter. Although the commenting and sharing functions have been limited, testimonials have been used by some members who are featured in communication with their own social media audience. That made the campaign more credible and sparked interest in other global players in the region, who ultimately asked to be featured in the campaign as well.

Going forward, GPA will be creating postcards with three versions of the testimonials to be distributed in targeted global hotspots in Philadelphia. The aim is to draw attention to the work of GPA and to drive citizens to our social media platforms. The campaign will run over three months, from June through August of 2015, and will be reevaluated in the fall. The goal is to have had some success in putting a face on GPA and the value it brings to global players in the region. 


Feel free to click on any picture below in the Testimonials Gallery to see the testimonial of some of our members!