Since the Irrigation Association launched Smart Irrigation Month in 2005, the initiative has grown from an association project to an industry-wide campaign effort. This year, IA supercharged its efforts to promote Smart Irrigation Month across several social media platforms. As a result, the initiative received record levels of support from industry stakeholders.
IA hosted its second annual Thunderclap crowd-speak campaign to help spread the Smart Irrigation Month message on social media. Thunderclap is a platform that allows organizations to promote a specific cause and increase its social reach through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Individuals who joined the IA Thunderclap campaign donated their social media accounts to send out the same message at the same time as their fellow supporters. IA’s 2015 campaign had 111 participants, with a total social reach of over 103,000 contacts.
IA’s Smart Irrigation Month Thunderclap message was simple: “Happy #SmartIrrigationMonth! Join the cause & help protect our global water resources. Every drop counts!” Participants who opted-in to the Thunderclap sent out this message at 12:00 p.m. Eastern on July 7.
#SmartSelfie & Social Media Outreach
In an effort to increase industry and individual engagement on social media, IA launched its first-ever sign holding campaign. Individuals and companies were invited to download a Smart Irrigation Month support sign, snap a selfie and post it to social media using the #SmartSelfie and #SmartIrrigationMonth hashtags. More than 30 individuals and companies participated in the inaugural campaign, posting over 70 #SmartSelfies on both Twitter and Facebook. The estimated social reach of the #SmartSelfie hashtag is over 75,000 contacts.
Many Smart Irrigation Month supporters promoted the initiative on social media with the hashtag #SmartIrrigationMonth. During July 2015, more than 1,000 posts on Twitter and Facebook contained the Smart Irrigation Month hashtag, with an estimated social reach of over 800,000 contacts.
Irrigation firms worked at the grassroots level to gain support from their state and local governments. As of July 31, 12 states and three cities have issued official proclamations recognizing July as Smart Irrigation Month.
Colorado – City & County of Denver
Oklahoma — City of Oklahoma City
Texas — City of Allen
Several media outlets published articles about smart watering tips, local support of the initiative, and state and local proclamations. A number of industry firms also issued press releases about Smart Irrigation Month and their companies’ activities.