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Turkey’s Changemakers vs. Fark Yaratanlar: Let’s Integrate, Engage & Collaborate.

In Turkey on August 7, 2011 by Amira E. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Turkey's Changemakers

THE BASICS

WHO: Some call it Turkey’s Changemakers. (Most) others call it Fark Yaratanlar.

WHAT: An initiative launched by Turkey’s Sabanci Foundation, Fark Yaratanlar is a weekly TV program aired on CNN Turk that shares the inspiring stories of 32 individual “changemakers” who promote and positively impact the country’s social and economic development. Over the course of two seasons, 800 applications have been submitted, 64 causes featured and almost 1 million viewers.

WHEN: The program launched Season 1 in October 2009. Season 2 just ended last month.

WHY: To increase visibility of individuals who make a significant impact on other people’s lives, raise awareness of social issues and inspire others to act for social change. Güler Sabancı, Chair of Sabancı Holding and third among the Financial Times “Top 50 Women in World Business” in 2010, said: “I think its extremely important to promote role models and good examples to mobilize more people to get involved.

SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT

It’s usually quite easy to do an overall assessment of an organization’s social media/digital footprint, right? That’s what I thought, too. My best friend introduced this initiative to me as Turkey’s Changemakers. We hit it off instantly. Loved the concept. Loved the implementation. (Filiz Bekman, much respect.) Here’s what I found as I tried to understand where this program lived among Turkey’s 35 million Internet users:

Platform

Internet Penetration in Turkey (in terms of # of users)

Turkey’s Changemakers

Facebook

85.69%

397 Fans

Twitter

16.6%

57 Followers

The numbers don’t make sense, right? With Turkey’s Facebook population of 29,643,160, how could this amazing program only have 396 fans?

The quick answer: They don’t. They have 9,084 fans. Still not putting a dent in the 29 million, but a big difference nonetheless. How did the number jump? The program has two pages on Facebook and Twitter, one under the program’s English name (Turkey’s Changemakers) and one under the program’s original Turkish name (Fark Yaratanlar). Here’s a clearer picture:

Platform

Internet Penetration in Turkey (in terms of # of users)

Turkey’s Changemakers

Fark Yaratanlar

Facebook

85.69%

397 Fans

8,687 Fans

Twitter

16.6%

57 Followers

2,176 Followers

In addition to their Facebook and Twitter presence(s), Turkey’s Changemakers has a dedicated YouTube channel with 96 videos, 46 subscribers and over 100,000 views. The website — farkyaratanlar.org — is difficult to find if you know the program as Turkey’s Changemakers (especially since the links on both of its Facebook and Twitter pages don’t work).

WELL DONE

  • Fark Yaratanlar clearly has two “faces” for a good reason: to reach their domestic audience and the international English-speaking audience.
  • Wide reach through a variety of platforms and good integration between networks (i.e. linking to YouTube from Facebook, linking to Facebook from Twitter, etc.)
  • Great use of video storytelling to reach non-TV audience online

MOVING FORWARD

As the program enters its third season, I recommend that Fark Yaratanlar do three things to leverage their current momentum for future success:

1. INTEGRATE: Develop a brand with one face and name, even if it’s reaching out to two audiences. Add the English version of the name after the Turkish one for clarification (Fark Yaratanlar: Turkey’s Changemakers). Create an English version of the website (just like Sabanci Foundation). If there must be two Facebook and Twitter accounts, make sure they’re fully integrated and that it’s clear to users where to find the other version, as well as always linking back to the program’s official website. Contact Facebook and have them remove unauthorized pages and groups under the same name to ensure all supporters are supporting the official page.

2. ENGAGE: Have two-way conversations with online audiences — they are the lifeline of the initiative. Ask questions. Answer questions. Invite ideas and recommendations for new program developments. Enlist supporters to evangelize the program. Use Facebook and Google ads to spread more awareness and drive traffic back to the program’s sites. Develop a short-term campaign prior to the launch of the third season where every new Facebook “like” triggers a donation to one of the changemaker causes. Invite supporters to post their personal social impact stories on a dedicated “Sharing/Storytelling” tab on the revamped Facebook page.

3. COLLABORATE: The program currently is aired on CNN Turk, produced by Dipnot TV and hosted by TV personality Cüneyt Özdemir. By collaborating with these three entities on social media communications, Fark Yaratanlar can reach thousands more people. Özdemir alone has over 200,000 followers on Twitter and is on over 2,000 lists. (CNNTurk.com has almost 190,000 followers and Dipnot TV has almost 30,000.) That kind of exposure would be priceless for Fark Yaratanlar. The key is using the @mention so followers can then engage directly with the program. On top of that, the program can develop offline engagement opportunities with Sabinci University students and professors to garner even more interest and online participation.

Before you sign off, watch one of their weekly programs. This one is about “Child Brides,” a project to raise awareness about early marriages in Turkey

(Click on CC for English subtitles)

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2 Responses to “Turkey’s Changemakers vs. Fark Yaratanlar: Let’s Integrate, Engage & Collaborate.”

  1. What a great campaign and program – I loved your topic choice for this post. Rather than go with the obvious conclusions by only looking at their social media footprint in English, your instincts to dig deeper yielded not only a more complete picture of who the program was connecting with online … it also seemed to inspire a good part of what you ended up writing about. It goes to show that sometimes the story that you think you will write spotlighting a great program evolves into a slightly different take on the same subject. It happens to me all the time when I post. Aside from your usual trademark simple style making it easy for the reader to follow, you offer a few suggestions that I imagine the producers of the program could implement tomorrow and generate some good value from. In fact, if you haven’t already you should share this post with them. It would be interesting to see how and if they might use it to inspire their future social media efforts. (5)

    • Thanks Rohit – I really appreciate the positive feedback! This definitely was one of the trickiest posts for me because of the language barrier, but it definitely helped shape my recommendations. I always feel (good) pressure to offer really insightful recos, especially in case one of the organizations happens to find the post. Thanks again for always having detailed and constructive feedback. Its a rare quality to find in a professor!
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