What’s the story behind #BellLetsTalk?

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A simple social media campaign made one hashtag trend on Twitter for a day.

On Jan. 25, Bell (a Canadian telecommunications company) launched a campaign to promote mental health awareness and raise money for Canadian mental health services. For every Tweet (including Retweets) using #BellLetsTalk, the company donated five cents. This year, the campaign raised $6,585,250.50 thanks in part to 7,320,400 Tweets with the hashtag. According to Bell, it was the most popular hashtag on Twitter on Jan. 25.

The day before, some Tweets circulated, but the main effect of the hashtag was on the specific campaign day.

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The majority of the Tweets came in the form of Retweets rather than original posts by individual users. There were several top influencers sending out Tweets with calls to action asking for Retweets.

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The most retweeted Tweet that used #BellLetsTalk was Tweeted by Ellen Degeneres (more than 311,000). The second most retweeted Tweet was sent by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (more than 106,000).

Degeneres has 65.7 million followers, so her Tweets can generate big discussions on their own.

Trudeau’s Tweet garnered less interest but had more Retweets per amount of followers. He has just 2.94 million followers. His followers are primarily Canadian and the people that follow those followers are also likely Canadian and so on, which maintains the chain of people that the Tweet will have meaning to.

Aside from the hashtag, the two other most popular words involved were “mental” and “health,” which let users explain the campaign. “Retweet” was often used in association with the hashtag and was the call to action.

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Most of the traffic surrounding #BellLetsTalk was in the United States (45.2 percent) and Canada (23.7 percent).  Since the sample size was only about 1,500 mentions, it’s too small to project across the entire campaign. However, since Ellen Degeneres and some of the other celebrities who Tweeted are most popular in the United States, they might have been able to swing the conversation more toward the United States.

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The power of a share was on display and it resulted in a record-setting digital conversation about Canadian mental health.

Group Members: Jon Mettus and Paul Schwedelson

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