Turn a Negative into a Positive

Social media also gave Yes Equality a platform to respond to news stories, issues and online developments as they arose. The emotive nature of the referendum campaign created much media debate and occasional controversy.

Yes Equality often needed to respond swiftly and adapt appropriately. For example, when the opposing side erected their posters there was frustration and anger among Yes supporters, with a few tearing them down and posting photos of the results on social media. Yes Equality responded immediately on its social media platforms to condemn the removing of posters by supporters on either side. It harnessed the frustration by sharing links on social media encouraging people to help fund the Yes poster campaign. This resulted in a surge in donations.

Similarly, TV debates were used as an opportunity to send messages aimed at increasing participation in local canvassing groups, leading to a large increase in volunteers signing up. Messages with clear calls to action, such as “Don’t get angry, don’t get frustrated – join your local canvassing group”, were promoted on social media in times of heightened media activity.

Integrating online activity into the wider efforts was the cornerstone of the successful digital campaign. An example was the crowdfunding campaigns that were promoted mainly through social media to help fund campaign posters and a nationwide bus tour. This three-week campaign aimed to raise €50,000. By the end it had reached almost €110,000, with over 1,400 people donating. Yes Equality engaged with influencers on social media to promote and share the campaign beyond Yes Equality social circles. Altogether, crowdfunding efforts driven by social media raised €158,560 for the campaign.