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Social media: Making a single tweet worth a million words

Solar association uses ‘crowdspeaking’ to pick up thousands of new supporters; AIA gives members tools to promote profession

Feb. 20, 2015
By Walt Williams

When entrepreneurs need to raise $1 million, some turn to crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter. But when the Solar Energy Industries Association needed to reach millions of people, the answer was a still relatively new social media strategy known as crowdspeaking.

In January, the association coordinated its second “Shout Out for Solar Day” through crowdspeaking website Thunderclap. The tool wasn’t the only reason for the event’s social media success—SEIA had spent months building support—but it did enable the group to generate buzz beforehand without spending huge sums of money.

“This was done on a shoestring and ham sandwich,” SEIA Vice President of Communications Ken Johnson said.