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Word of mouth push pumps up donations for Aussie Red Cross Blood Service


Word of mouth push pumps up donations for Aussie Red Cross Blood Service


The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has enlisted word of mouth agency Social Soup to successfully increase blood donations though targeting ‘well connected people’.

The campaign targeted 30-54 year olds who were ‘well connected’, both online and offline and had either never donated blood or had not donated in the past five years. Social Soup offered them packages of information, recovery packs and branded collateral, encouraging them to donate blood and encourage their friends and family to do the same.

The results saw 1,827 reported blood donations, with 88% of the influencers saying they would donate again.

Social Soup CEO, Sharyn Smith says the campaign aimed to show influential people how simple the donation process actually was and then in turn educate their friends and family.

“A third of Australians need blood, yet only one in 30 currently donates,” she says.“Our campaign challenge was to convince people to find time in their already busy routines, donate blood and then help share this experience within their robust network.”

“We found that after first-time donors had crossed their personal barriers and gave blood, they felt great and many went on to advocate for the practice. Most shared their experience in person as well as online, with several later committing to regular contributions for Australian Red Cross. This multiplier effect contributed significantly to the success of the campaign.”

Smith added, “Social influence has been key to creating new social norms for people around donating blood. Developing a campaign to take a core group of high social influencers to donate blood creates action from the people around them. No other advertising can deliver such an impactful result.”

Australian Red Cross Blood Service national marketing campaign coordinator, Kimberley Tolson says that using an influential word of mouth campaign was the perfect recruitment channel as blood donors are heavily influenced by friends and family when deciding to give blood.

“Many participants said they had thought about giving blood, but had just never got around to it, so participating in the Soup campaign gave them the kick-start they needed,” she says. “It also provided them with the opportunity to brag to everyone they knew about the great deed they had done and lives they had saved by donating.”

“The whole campaign was also so simple to implement. Soup take care of everything, the communication was great and the participants were well educated and really enthusiastic. We’re already rolling out a second Soup campaign.”

Campaign Background

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is responsible for collecting, testing, processing and distributing all blood in Australia. The organisation’s survival is solely dependent on the support and generosity of people donating their time and/or blood.

While many Australians have thought about donating blood, barriers to participation include not knowing how and where or whether they are even eligible.


The selected influencers were family and community-minded, worked or lived near a blood donation centre and were willing to go with a partner or colleague to donate blood. Influencers were also selected based on their high-level of persuasion in their social and work environments and their regular use of mobiles for Facebook and/or Twitter.

Over a month’s period, influencers were encouraged to make a donation at their local centre with a colleague, friend or partner. They were asked to share their full experience online via Facebook and Twitter, explaining why they made the decision to donate, how the experience was and how they felt afterward.

Influencers had the opportunity to create online reviews via the Social Soup review page, which helped maximize SEO for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. At the end of the campaign, influencers completed a feedback survey, the results of which were communicated back to them to re-ignite word of mouth stemming from their genuine involvement.


  • 1,827 blood donations reported as a result of the campaign
  •  88% of the influencers that donated blood will do so again in the future
  •  Post NPS of 76 (an increase of 24 pre-project) for the Red Cross Blood Service
  •  300 online reviews created
  •  Of the influencers who donated, almost all left a review giving an average star rating of the experience 4.4 out of 5

During the campaign, influencers were encouraged to share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter. They also left reviews on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Facebook page.

The review page enabled influencers to give their honest opinion about The Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Influencers were able to share their review within their own social networks.


Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service.


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