Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’


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

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

Turkey's Changemakers


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.


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:


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

Turkey’s Changemakers



397 Fans




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:


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

Turkey’s Changemakers

Fark Yaratanlar



397 Fans

8,687 Fans





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 — — 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).


  • 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


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. ( 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)


Turkey: To Be or Not to Be in the EU

In Turkey on August 7, 2011 by vmcfarre Tagged: ,

Turkey’s entry into the European Union has been a topic of debate for years, and has spurred several online conversations. Turkey’s bid to join the EU is currently stalled, with only one of 35 negotiations completed on policy areas. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French P

resident Nicolas Sarkozy oppose Turkish membership, while last year, U.K. Prime Minister David

Cameron said to be the “strongest possible advocate” for Turkish accession. I took it upon

myself to see what conversations and groups were forming on Facebook and on the Internet, either for or against Turkey’s admission into the EU.

Turks Against Turkey Entering the EU

Over 18,000 people like sites against Turkey entering the EU. Some of the reasons and discussions are regarding Turkey’s capitol not being in Europe and because their economy is currently better than other European countries.

Turks for Turkey Entering the EU 

A group on Facebook titled I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who do want Turkey in the EU but they only reach 2000 followers.  This group includes several links noting the progress that Turkey is making on issues with Cyprus, their relationship with Armenia and notes their important role in European history.

According to a Ian Buruma is Professor of Democracy and Human Rights at Bard College, one highly educated Turk, working for an international organization, said: “We play football with them, sing songs with them on TV, do business with them, improved our human rights, and democratized our politics. We do everything they ask us to do, and still they don’t want us.”

Turkey is in a good position to guide other Muslim countries in a more liberal-democratic direction.

Now that the Turkish economy is thriving, there will be less reason for poor Turks to seek work in other countries, let alone “swamp” them. And if the EU’s hugely expanded membership were to stand in the way of a future federal state, this might not be such a bad thing. In any case, the addition of Turkey would hardly make the crucial difference.

Europeans Against Turkey Entering the EU

One group on Facebook called At least 400 million EU citizens don ‘t want Turkey in European Union!!! Has a list of reasons for why they should not enter, including illegally occupying Cyprus, denial of genocides against the Armenians, Kurds, Greeks and Assyrians. A large majority of European citizens (for example, more than 60 percent in France and Germany) believe that Turkey should not become part of the European Union. In addition to Facebook, given U.K. Prime Minister support for Turkey, there were several articles and discussions from London-based bloggers and newspapers.  The reasoning behind their disapproval for Turkey entering the EU has a lot to do with population growth, immigration and border security.  In comparison to Poland, which entered in 2004, Turkey’s population is officially 76 million people, and when entering the EU, any citizen of a EU country, has the right to live and work in any other EU state.

Speaking to some Belgium friends, the believe that the EU in its current state needs to first figure some of their problems out with the economy before thinking of letting anyone else in.

Europeans for Turkey Entering the EU

Largest labor force in Europe with 64% under 34 years old. This statistic could be a good one a couple of years ago, when countries such as Spain and Italy were looking and promoting people to have children giving their low number of birth rates. At this point, with the challenging economy and job crisis, more immigration means more competition for EU citizens and therefore this statistic is no longer a good one for Turkey’s cause to enter the EU.

What the Future Holds

Turkey is currently the fastest economy and is the best example of a blossoming country where Muslims and Christians can live together to create a unified, growing economy. There are always two sides to a story and in this case, this ongoing debate has several sides that at times are the same reasons with two different interpretations.

At this stage, while the Greek crisis is tearing at the seams of the euro zone, the Turkish economy is booming. I agree with some of the conversations, there are so many issues with the economy in so many of the European countries, I believe these problems need to be solved before allowing anyone else in.


The Patos Challenge: Deal or No Deal?

In Turkey on August 6, 2011 by dariguti Tagged: , , , , , ,

Patos is the fastest growing salty snack brand in Turkey and Kraft’s most sold product amongst Turkish consumers. Kraft wanted to take their efforts a step further and increase sales for this product amongst the Turkish youth by creating excitement and buzz about the brand. The strategy was to reach them directly and engage them through the channels that this mobile/web savvy demographic already used. The result was a comprehensive approach that involved traditional public relations techniques and a variety of advertising tactics to support an engaging and insightful digital marketing campaign.

How Did They Do It?

Kraft, in partnership with Vodafone and Mobilera, realized that the best way to increase sales was to let consumers interact with the brand.  They did an excellent job in profiling their target audience and understanding the best ways to grab their attention and keep it.

The way to pull in consumers was easy. Patos bags came with a unique code inside that you could text from your Vodafone mobile device and redeem for 5 free minutes, or… you could accept a challenge.  The amount of price minutes increased every time you accepted a challenge and won. Strategist for this campaign wanted not only engagement, but longer engagement time between consumers and the brand. They also knew that the way to take them further had to be within a single purchase or they could quickly lose their grasp of the audience.

Considering Vodafone is the second largest mobile phone provider in the country—with 25% of the market share—and also considering that Vodafone has identified young users as one of the fastest growing segments, this was the right partnership to target this audience. Since prepaid mobile plans are particularly popular in Europe, free minutes were a great incentive for consumers to participate. This dynamic maximized the campaign’s effectiveness because Kraft is an established organization partnering with Vodafone, which is an already trusted operator in Turkey.

But, it was not only about the mobile texting campaign. This campaign included a mobile game version of the challenge and a web version. All these supported by radio, TV, outdoor, point-of-purchase, web and mobile advertising and even buying keywords with Google AdWords to boost website traffic. Additionally, there was intensive public and media relations’ support through events around the concept of ‘Deal or No Deal?’ (such as trying to break the world record for people who fit in a Volkswagen, inspired by one of their TV commercials).


Because of the success of this campaign, Kraft has continued to use these marketing tactics to promote more of their products. 

The Results

  • 10 million unique codes were distributed and 3.5 million were used, this is a 35% response rate.
  •  Sales increased by 27% and market share by 1%.
  •  238,000 downloads of mobile game.
  •  The number of Patos sold reached an all time high during the campaign.
  • Created huge buzz in the industry. Campaign was nominated for multiple awards and won the Best Messaging Campaign Award of MMA (Mobile Marketing Association EMEA, 2009) and the Most Creative Campaign Award by Digital Age, Turkey 2010.

Why This Worked?

Kraft’s marketing team had a vision and they where able to tie it together sucessfully. They knew that mobile would easily engage their target audience but they chose not to make ‘just another tactic’. Their all-inclusive approach not only grabbed their consumer’s attention but also motivated them to take action (by participating in the game) because this campaign made it easy enough for the consumer to want to continue engaging. They also used the technology effectively and were creative with it, using their insights to develop the approach. Basically, they targeted the right audience with the right offer through the right channel. Not an easy task. Kudos!


Is the “Best” Airline the Best Online?

In Turkey on August 5, 2011 by Abby Tagged: , ,

Turkish Airlines has been turning around its reputation in the past few decades – from an airline ripe with customer service complaints, deadly crashes, and controversial ambassador deals, to 2011’s Best European Airline.  The airline has also been very active in the online space, in what seems to be an effort to rebuild its image and customer satisfaction – but is it working?

One recent online engagement example is their ongoing coverage of the US Tour 2011 featuring FC Barcelona (which Turkish Airline sponsors).  They are providing a behind-the scenes look as the team travels aboard a Turkish Airline flight.  Another element to this campaign is an interactive  game, where visitors to the site can play daily to win prizes, including futbol jerseys and free tickets, and receive hints via Twitter and Facebook.

Turkish Airline's online FC Barcelona game

Why this works: According to comScore, Turkey is one of the top global sports markets, so they’re tapping into that love of sports with their sponsorship of the team and the ongoing promotions online.  The content is also being broadcast on Turkish Airline’s multiple social media platforms for maximum reach.  What could be improved? With so many channels, websites and hashtags to follow, it can be difficult to keep up with the campaign and what to focus on. The overwhelming amount of activity may mean Turkish Airlines (and their objectives) gets lost in the shuffle.

Another tactic Turkish Airlines employs is sharing videos on Facebook.  The airline posts videos on their Facebook wall several times a week, including interviews with spokespeople and simple animated clips. Why this works: Watching videos online videos is common in Turkey, and a recent studyfound that Facebook is the most popular online video destination in Turkey.  By understanding this trend, Turkish Airlines is able to provide their audience with the content they desire.

A recent Facebook Cartoon - featuring FC Barcelona

What could be improved?  Again it seems like Turkish Airline is promoting sports teams rather than themselves.  Although the content is engaging, the message remains unclear – why these Facebook fans should choose to fly with Turkish Airlines is unanswered.  Additionally, when looking further into the data, it shows that online videos attract a much younger audience, which may be an audience less likely to purchase airline tickets.

Overall is appears that Turkish Airlines is trying to tap into online trends to meet their audience where they are, but they might be sending mixed signals.  By promoting themselves as young and playful (sports and cartoons), they may be neglecting the audience that is looking for luxury airfare or business travel.  They also leave out critical information and fail explain why they are the “Europe’s best airline.” In my opinion, for more success down the line, Turkish Airlines should focus on the services they provide for their customers rather than the activities of the teams and individuals that they pay to sponsor.


How Turkey Can Fight Crime Using Social Media

In Turkey on August 5, 2011 by sdaniellebenjamin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

According to the International Organization of Migration, 250,000 people have been trafficked through Turkey since 1999.

If the facts didn’t support this claim, I might be tempted to dispute it. Yet despite the many social advances and humanitarian efforts that have been elevated over the last several decades, the illegal trade of humans is still a prevalent practice in many parts of the world today.

Because of its location as a bridge between Europe and Asia, and because of the socio-economic attractions that it offers in contrast to neighboring countries in the region, Turkey accounts for one of the largest destination spots for the countless victims of this imaginable crime.

In 2000, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols was adopted and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children was created to address this growing problem. In 2002, Turkey took definitive steps to combat this issue, beginning first by ratifying the UN measure and then setting up a National Task Force to enforce it. Yet while media and traditional advertising mechanisms have been put in place to help identify and find victims, a comprehensive digital strategy campaign has yet to be implemented by some of the leading voices in this issue.

High Internet Use in Turkey

I was actually quite surprised to learn that the Turkish government had yet to use social media in their efforts considering Turkey is one of the 15 largest internet populations in the world.  In fact, the Internet World Stats reported that there were 35,000 internet users in Turkey (representing 45% of the population) in June 2010. Those same reports also indicate that Turks spend a lot of their online time searching and using social media outlets (Turkey enjoys the third highest Facebook population in the world) – a fact that would seem to lend itself to a ready campaign around this issue.

While they do provide important information about human trafficking on their website, the governmental site for the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs that specifically deals with human trafficking could benefit from a social media overhaul.

A Digital Strategy Campaign

Facebook: With so many Turks using social media platforms each and every day, these sites are an easy way to set up missing person profiles, give descriptions and share other relevant information that can lead officials to these women and children. The Turkish government can create page specifically designed to disseminate information on persons , both victims and perpetrators, in real-time. As users visit the page, they can provide tips and clues on the whereabouts of these victims – perhaps providing just the right information to lead officials to victims.

Windows Live Profile: As the second most popular social media platform, this instant messenger platform can be easily incorporated on the homepage of the existing Turkish government website and monitored 24 hours a day as people submit tips and information on missing persons. Success of this type of feature will depend on the rapid-verification and follow up on information that is shared via this platform.

Blogs: Contributors to the non-profit organization’s blog site, The Human Trafficking Project, utilize art and technology to raise awareness of human trafficking and connect those working to combat this issue while also supporting the many nameless victims. The Turkish government could implement a similar type of blog on their website to connect family and friends, desperately searching for information on how to find their lost loved ones, to useful information and other anti-human trafficking sites around the world.

Sadly, human trafficking won’t go away overnight. Every day, thousands of women and children are being victimized by this senseless crime. And while they have made great strides to address this problem, by incorporating a digital strategy campaign into the mix, the Turkish government is sure to see considerable improvements – and just maybe, justice can finally be served.