Looking back on #WeAre12

At the beginning of May 2012 we ran a weeklong multi-platform social media campaign called #WeAre12 to commemorate 12 years since the Family Information Service (FIS) was first launched.

It was hoped that #WeAre12 would:

  • raise awareness of the range of information and support available from the FIS
  • explore new social media channels for parents who prefer to use the internet and social networking sites as a route to gather information
  • engage with parents, carers and those working with children, young people and families
  • see an increase in enquiries to the service
  • champion frontline services using social media
  • celebrate the work of the FIS

The events which took place during #WeAre12 were:

Family Information Service Blog

As part of delivering information online we launched this blog to easily share information, comment on news and also be a go to place for not only parents but other working with children, young people and families. We also want the blog to feature guest blogs to showcase and highlight the work of other services which supported families, especially community and voluntary sector organisations. More importantly we want the blog to also include articles from parents who feel able to share their experiences of being parents and to act as a peer support for other parents experiencing similar situations. If you would like to write a blog for us, then you can email us at shropshirefis@shropshire.gov.uk

Launch of Google +

We had undertaken research on Google + and assessed the potential of the platform for the service. The statistics showed that it was a growing platform and that the highest proportion of users were male. We saw this as a good way of sharing information with dads, who currently only accounted for 8% of service users. Also the wait and see approach to Google+ wasn’t a strong enough argument not to deliver through this channel. We were prepared to give it a go and launched a Google + account.

Live Question and Answer Session on Facebook

We have a well-established Facebook Family and wanted to host an event especially for Facebookers. We issued a poll to see if people would want a live question and answer session, and if so when would be a good time. The poll said yes, and evenings would be better – once the children we in bed. We checked when Corrie was on and posted the event on the page. Again we weren’t sure if it would work, after all parents might not want to ask us a question about their family in a very open forum.

Live Tweet of Enquires

The Family Information Service responds to a wide range of information requests. It really is anything and everything to do with family life. We wanted to show how no two requests for information were the same, because no two families are the same. It was hoped that by showing the nature of requests it might help parents to understand that the service really is there for them too. No question is out of the question. We tweeted the question and also tweeted our reply.

Infographics and Wordles

The last day of the campaign was really to provide some information on the service, through infographics and wordles, which we placed on the blog – to drive traffic there. We wanted to show the feedback we’d had from parents, number of enquiries we’d had since we launched (76,800 fact fans) and also information on childcare provision in Shropshire. We also posted some of the headline stats alongside the images. The posts generated our second highest page views for the week.

Facts and Stats

We were constantly gathering evidence throughout the week, screen grabs and analytics, as a way of evaluating the campaign as it ran. We may not know the impact of the campaign for some time but by the end of the week the stats were as follows:-

Blog Page Views

  • Monday 60
  • Tuesday 65
  • Wednesday 374
  • Thursday 94
  • Friday 135


  • 46% of #WeAre12 tweets were replied to by followers
  • 45% of #WeAre12 tweets were retweeted
  • Number of followers increased by 5%
  • 31,442 accounts reached
  • 157,977 impressions


  • Weekly total reach up by 118%
  • Number of new likes up by 3%
  • People talking about this increase of 40%

Google +

  • Number of pluses up by 57% increase

What Worked Well…

  • We used the #WeAre12 hashtag for the whole campaign. Having an overall campaign hashtag was essential. For the live tweet of enquiries we used #FISLive and when we distributed the infographics and wordles we used #FISFact.
  • The guest blogs worked a treat. Our busiest blog day was from a mum sharing her very personal account of post natal depression. The response from other parents was incredible.
  • The networks we had developed came good and we felt we could call on a favour.
  • Supporters of the service shared, retweeted, promoted the campaign and the work we were doing.
  • BBC Radio Shropshire invited us onto their mid-morning show for two consecutive days to talk about the campaign.
  • The live Q&A on Facebook actually generated discussion – parents were making suggestions to other parents, we merely provided the venue and facilitated that discussion.
  • We had a modern apprentice designer in the team, which really helped. It gave us more control on timescales and any changes could be made instantly.
  • We engaged with Digital Communications Team way in advance of the campaign and they were on board in a shot and were very supportive.
  • We had a bit of luck on our side the day of the live tweets of enquiries – we really had a range of questions that day.
  • We had an element of fun/trivial, we asked people when they were 12 what they wanted to be, what their favourite cake was.
  • We felt we got the mix of events right and the mix of platforms. It helped to maximise greater coverage.
  • We benefitted from staff prepared to work in the evenings and on their day off to keep the campaign going.
  • There was birthday cake and lashings of it. We ate cake every day, all in the name of work. #Ace

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