The Social Santa Experience

We decided to launch a Christmas-themed social sharing app at the beginning of December, in the run up to the festive season. We came up with the idea of creating a site on which users could work out whether they had been naughty or nice and, subsequently, whether or not they could expect a visit from Santa on the big day.

The site works by analysing a selection of tweets from each user's Twitter account, looking for the number of swear words that have been used in those tweets. We gave each person a naughty or nice score, based on how high a percentage of those tweets included swear words or obscene language.

Users signed in with their Twitter account, authorising the app, and then had to click to generate their naughty or nice profile. The results were then presented, letting the user know which of Santa's lists they had made it onto. This page also let people see which of their tweets contained swear words, and how many times each swear word had been used. Finally, users were given the opportunity to share the result on Twitter & Facebook.

The Launch

We launched the site at the beginning of December, hoping it would get some pick up in the run up to Christmas. The site did incredibly well on the day of the launch, but it really took off overnight as America started to wake up.

To support the site, we put together a press release, which we sent out to marketing and technology press.

When we realised how well the site was doing on Twitter, we thought it would be a good idea to set up some promoted tweets around it, which we did from the A Social Media Agency Twitter account @TweetsFromASMA.

We also set up a Twitter account so we could talk to people who were tweeting about the account, and also so we could target relevant celebrities that we thought might be likely to tweet about it. The Social Santa Twitter account is, as you’ll see below, one of the things that we would plan better for if we had our time again.

We used this to retweet those who had tweeted about the site, answer questions from those who had an issue with or liked the site, and also to target celebrities such as Danny Dyer and Frankie Boyle, who are known for their foul-mouthed language.

As so many people were talking about the Social Santa widget, we thought it would be a good idea to give the story a celebrity angle as well, so we ran a selection of relevant celebrity Twitter names through the app and added this as a section on to the site.

The Results

The number of people flocking to the site to get their naughty or nice score was much higher than we ever could have predicted. Using Google Analytics, Topsy and Twitter ads, we managed to get the following results from the campaign:

  • Total number of visits: 150,991
  • Unique views: 132,117
  • Page views: 275,045
  • Tweets of the URL: 27,000

The site was featured in trade press, such as The Drum, WebPro News and Gorkana, but it also made it on to the Telegraph’s LinkDrop section, where they round up the best online trending stories, videos and features from that day.

Yeti Learnings

Whilst we knew we had ultimately come up with a good idea, we didn’t realise how successful it would be! In hindsight, there are a couple of things that we have learnt from the experience that we would recommend to people who might be thinking of trying something similar.

One of the biggest problems we came up against was the running of the Twitter account, as we had it suspended three times due to the number of people we were tweeting without them having tweeted us first. Essentially, Twitter thought we were a spam account, so if we were to run something on this scale again, we would have more time to get this set up properly, and hopefully avoid having the account suspended for a limited!

More work ...

Get the Know How

Get the latest thought leading industry comment and information from our “no sales” newsletter.

Want to work with us?