STASH is the world’s largest online library of animation, VFX and motion graphics with over 120 hours of streaming video content, detailed production notes, toolkits and more. An essential resource for the advertising, broadcast and screen-based production industry, STASH charges a monthly subscription for individuals and organizations wishing to access its extensive archives.
For several years, STASH Media had attended SIGGRAPH, the annual conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques. In summer 2011, they decided to forgo the conference and instead invest their budget in a 6-month campaign to build awareness around the brand.
We saw a real opportunity for STASH Media to build a community around the STASH brand. All that was needed was a human touch. We initially focused on the brand’s social channels -- Facebook and Twitter. Delivering automated links to the site’s daily blog feed, the two channels had very little or no engagement with the animation, VFX and motion community -- and no more than a handful of followers; a few hundred on Facebook and even less on Twitter.
We unlinked the automated feeds and began a process of daily updates. Knowing that Facebook EdgeRank weighted video and photo content above links, we set about sharing the wealth of visual material that STASH was pumping out daily through its blog.
Special attention was paid to following and tagging individuals and organizations profiled, and to ensuring that the text accompanying the visual content was sufficiently engaging as to provoke a “like” or a “comment”. As a significant numbers of Facebook followers were located in the UK and Europe, attention was also paid to timing the posts so that updates would appear when people would be taking an “online” break from work -- or wrapping-up their day.
With Twitter, we also paid close attention to the timing of “tweets” and to following and tagging individuals and organizations profiled in the blog. We created and saved both brand and topic searches and focused on re-tweeting quality posts at a 5 to 1 ratio to our own output. Twitter's Follow Friday also provided us with an opportunity to give a “shout out” to all those profiled on the STASH blog during the week. Over time, it became a much shared feature within the animation, VFX and mograph community on Twitter.
We also set-up a step-by-step process to support the release of each new issue, using a combination of social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube) and outreach to industry bloggers.
Facebook fans grew from a few hundred to over 3,000 fans in less than four months; Twitter followers from a handful to over 2,000 in the same period. We were successful at communicating that there were real people with real personalities behind the STASH brand -- a strong point of differentiation with the competition who were still attached to their automated updates. As well, we were able to place items with high-profile ad industry blogs such as “Ad Freak”, further enhancing the brand’s reputation. The publishers have been able to follow the social template laid-out by GreenHAT and have continued to grow their community -- albeit at a slower pace.