WWF Australia Creates Interactive Experiences for Earth Hour with User-Generated Content

The World Wide Fund for Nature Australia’s mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Every year, the WWF organizes Earth Hour, a worldwide event where millions of people, businesses and communities from over 170 countries turn off their lights for one hour to help shine a light on the need for climate change action.

In previous years, WWF Australia had people sign up for Earth Hour by filling out a basic web form asking for participants’ names and email addresses. There was then a separate process where they encouraged participants to upload photos of them taking part in Earth Hour – everything from photos of people hosting game nights by candlelight to companies displaying their corporate logos.  

Not only did the WWF want to combine these two processes into a single action for people to take, they also wanted to dynamically display participants’ content across their website to help build engagement and foster a sense of community.

In celebration of Earth Hour’s 10th birthday, this year’s theme was focused around the ‘next generation’. So naturally, they needed a ‘next-generation’ user-generated content (UGC) platform to help make this year’s event the most successful one yet.

With this in mind, they set out in search of a UGC platform that could help them:

  • Enable people to directly upload photos to the Earth Hour site
  • Streamline Earth Hour’s registration process
  • Engage participates with dynamic and interactive online experiences

Finding the Best User-Generated Content Platform for Earth Hour

WWF began evaluating numerous user-generated content platforms – from Olapic to Tagboard – but quickly found that most could only pull in content that already existed on the top social platforms. Stackla was the only UGC platform that could enable supporters to upload images directly to the WWF website instead of forcing them to publish content on a site like Facebook first.

“We found that a lot of other UGC platforms could only aggregate content that’s tagged in posts on social media, but they didn’t have the specific functionality of Stackla’s GoConnect form that lets people directly upload images, like company logos, to our site while allowing us to also capture opt-in email leads,” said Kerri Major, Climate and Earth Hour Engagement Manager at WWF-Australia.

The WWF were also looking for a technology-forward platform that would seamlessly integrate with their existing backend systems like Marketo, their email marketing automation software. With Stackla’s plugins and webhooks, they were able to easily link the data people submitted in the registration form directly to their Marketo database – giving them the flexibility to customize form fields to account for things like opt-in/opt-out email fields.

“Stackla enabled us to have a one-stop registration process that helped us build a stronger sense of community among Earth Hour participants. People who registered could automatically see at a glance who else was participating with them. It was a great solution to a very specific frontend and backend challenge we had.”

Getting Kids Involved in Earth Hour

For this year’s Earth Hour event, the WWF wanted to create a more interactive experience for participants. “We wanted to allow people of all ages to make a statement about why they wanted to take part in Earth Hour,” Kerri said.

Using Stackla to run a social competition, they got 9-12 year olds to write letters to WWF sharing what they thought people could do to help protect the planet. “It was really easy for parents and teachers, since they only had to take a photo of the letter and upload them to our site.”

Within one week, they received over 50 letters and hand-picked 20 winners who were awarded a #JOINTHEFUTURE prize pack worth $100.

“We got the cutest letters that were not only adorable, but also very insightful. One little girl wrote to her local supermarket asking them to please stop using single-use plastic bags.”

With compelling UGC content from the competition, as well as a one-stop registration process that formed part of a content-driven user experience, the Earth Hour Australia website recorded a 60 percent increase in overall web sessions from the previous year.

Earth Hour Australia increased web sessions by 60% with a Stackla-powered social contest & dynamic UGC webpagesClick To Tweet

Social Earth Hour Community

In addition to their youth competition, the WWF asked all its supporters to submit a picture of themselves or their companies switching off for Earth Hour and encouraged them to share the things they were doing to commemorate the event’s 10th anniversary. .

They used Stackla to create a dynamic social landing page on the Earth Hour Australia website, highlighting all the photos their supporters were posting in real-time – either through direct upload or across Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #EarthHour, #JoinTheFuture and #EH17.

“The consensus among the WWF managers was that getting these types of campaigns up and running with Stackla was a fast and simple process. Stackla’s platform and widgets were really easy to use, set up and moderate.”Kerri Major, Climate and Earth Hour Engagement Manager at WWF-Australia

After months of preparation, Earth Hour came quickly and so did the massive rush of social content. “We weren’t expecting the unprecedented amount of posts we received. When Earth Hour started, we immediately got over 150,000 social entries.”

If over 150K pieces of content in one hour wasn’t impressive enough, Earth Hour Australia also saw a 72 percent increase in new visitors to the webpage year-on-year as well as 17 percent growth in Twitter followers and 32 percent growth in Instagram audiences.

WWF Australia grew new Earth Hour site visitors 72% & social audiences by +30% with interactive UGC.Click To Tweet

“The social content from Earth Hour supporters acts as social proof to show people, ‘everyone’s doing it, so you should too!’ It’s been a really great way to engage people during, before and after Earth Hour, helping to build broader awareness and support for this important cause.”

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