Girl Scouts, Cookies and Twitter

Girl Scouts take to Twitter to encourage downloads of their new mobile app.

We have all tried to find the nearest Girl Scout representative to get our cookie fix and been unsuccessful, resulting in less sales for the organization and sad consumers. Fortunately, that’s what the Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app takes care of. You put in your location and magically your phone spits out the nearest Girl Scout: probably pretty dangerous for us as consumers but genius for Girl Scouts USA. The organization famous for empowering young girls has found a way to encourage downloads of their app that links local Girl Scout chapters with potential cookie consumers. However, just because something amazing exists doesn’t mean that people are using it. The Girl Scouts noticed that not only were people not utilizing the app, they also didn’t interact with it much after the initial download. This defeated the purpose of creating such a useful app. So, the girls had to figure out how to get people connected to the app, and increase usage by those who already had the it.


The Girl Scouts wanted people to download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app in order to connect potential buyers to local Girl Scouts during the cookie season. But more than that, they wanted people to search within the app and utilize more of its functions. The Girl Scouts knew that they had a solution to consumer’s problem. They just needed an authentic way to get the product in front of the consumer.


The Girl Scouts started doing some social listening to learn about their target and what platforms they frequented. It’s important for any organization to know who they are talking to and where those people are. It’s a waste of money and time if you don’t research the consumer. Their biggest insight was that people often want to buy Girl Scout cookies but can’t find where they can make the purchase. This is a big problem because the Girl Scouts thought they had solved this problem already with the app, but they learned people weren’t using it.

The group also needed to know what platforms would work best for their objectives. A larger consumer base and a platform with valuable opportunities for brands lead the Girl Scouts to Twitter. Twitter is the optimal platform for brands who want to drive app downloads because of their app card function. The app card function allows brands to create a highly stylized visual representation of their app that allows consumers to click on a “download” button. Couldn’t get much simpler than that. Twitter also has great targeting capabilities that allow brands to find exactly who would care about their message.

Lessons learned:

By using Twitter’s app card function the Girl Scouts gained more than 19,500 app downloads. The Girl Scouts used their most iconic flavors in the images on the app card in hopes of catching the most attention and showing how valuable the app could be. Twitter’s app card function was really the perfect choice because you can open the and download the app right from the tweet itself. They increased the number of app downloads but they also used learnings from social listening to engage existing users of the app. The Girl Scouts learned that by including existing app users they were able to drive engagements. By doing this they increased their audience, which helped create buzz. Girl Scouts learned that it wasn’t enough to just promote the app, they had to teach consumers how to use it and why it was important. Although the case study did not explicitly say, a good assumption would be that a by-product of this campaign was an increased following on Twitter.

One thing that wasn’t present in the campaign was a consistent hashtag. The Girl Scouts really should have implemented a hashtag to go with the campaign if only to help document engagements, but it would have added to the professionalism of the campaign.



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