3-Minute WOM Lesson: How to rally fans around a cause

Giving your fans something meaningful to talk about and rally their friends around can lead to amazing word of mouth. Few organizations are better at doing this than charity: water — a group that helps bring sustainable clean water to communities that desperately need it.

We were so inspired by their work, we made charity: water the official cause of our upcoming Word of Mouth Supergenius conference. We’re raising $50,000 to build 10 wells in 10 great communities on the other side of the world. Learn more about it here: http://gaspedal.com/water

And if you’re trying to rally your fans and followers around an important cause, here are a few tips on how to do it:

1> It can’t be about you
2> It has to be a great cause
3> It has to be shareable
4> Let’s build some wells

1> It can’t be about you

If you want people to spread the word, your content has to be about them, not you. Nobody is going to talk about helping you — they’re going to talk about helping the people that need it. Every blog post, every email, and everything you ask your fans to forward should be focused on the people who you’re helping and the challenges they’re facing.

2> It has to be a great cause

To create fantastic word of mouth around your cause, it has to pass this test: The person talking about it has to feel fantastic when doing so. Your cause has to be this good. We love charity: water not only because of the great work they do, but because they do so in such a way that every penny donated goes toward bringing water to those who need it — there’s no gray area, no reason not to talk.

3> It has to be shareable

Making your stuff easy to talk about and easy to share is a fundamental skill of all great word of mouth marketers — nonprofit or otherwise. This is the secret to going viral: Great content matched with an extremely easy way to share it. Everything about charity: water — from the simple sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter to their feature that allows you to create your own donation project after you donate — is designed with word of mouth in mind.

4> Let’s build some wells

Help us show the world what word of mouth can do. $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. And every person you tell about our project helps bring a well to some fantastic communities on the other side of the world that really need our help.

Build a well: http://gaspedal.com/water


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  1. Christopher Wiseman

    Great primer on WOM, thanks for sharing! When you are involved with “a great cause” do you support another “great cause” just because it’s the right thing to do, or do you make sure first that there will be some future mutual support for your organization when you start your next campaign? If you do support a cause because it’s the right thing to do, how would you recommend letting the other cause know about your campaign in an authentic way that doesn’t come across as overtly self-serving?



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