By Spc. Darron Salzer, National Guard BureauApril 8, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. (April 6, 2010) -- Over the last few years, social media platforms such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized not only person-to-person communication, but how organizations such as the National Guard communicates with current members and reaches out to potential new recruits.
To capitalize on this phenomenon, the Army National Guard kicked off a new recruiting campaign April 5 with the release of a new personal video experience called "Moments of Pride."
The video aims to promote the Guard to its target demographic of 18- to 32-year-olds and is found at www.nationalguard.com/momentsofpride.
"What we have developed is a video experience that uses [the participants] public information on Facebook, and integrates it into a typical drill weekend or state active-duty situation," said Chief Warrant Officer Bonny Bell, the marketing officer for the Army Guard's Strength Maintenance Division.
In this case, the situation is a flood-rescue, which is timely because we are currently in flood season, said Bell.
Holding up a storyboard, Bell explains how the participant moves through the story, seeing their name on a uniform, their public Facebook photos being integrated into a hometown news story, and then sifting through debris and finding a photo album with a user photo on the cover.
Bell said that over the past four months, the division developed ideas and images for the video campaign internally and worked with an outside firm to create the actual application that would pull a participants information from their Facebook profiles.
"The application only pulls information that you already have public on your Facebook profile," she said. "We are not taking anyone's privacy away from them."
The new "Moments of Pride" video campaign uses footage from the Guard's other campaign titled "At This Moment."
Bell said she hopes this campaign will encourage potential recruits to find out more about what the Guard is all about.
"It's a pretty powerful message that makes you feel like a part of something bigger," she said.
"In the last 30 days on our Facebook page, we've had 19,426 referrals go to our Web site to find out more about the National Guard," said Bell. "Of those, 101 interested parties filled out a recruiter contact card."
The Army Guard recruiters also have a presence on MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. All of these social media sites are inexpensive ways of marketing, Bell said. They help the Army Guard reach its target demographic, and the numbers show just how successful these sites are for the Guard.