How to Launch a Social Project in 6 Steps by@aboutstartups

How to Launch a Social Project in 6 Steps

AcademyOcean, a Ukraine-based Software as a Service (SaaS) company that provides a smart Learning Management System (LMS), recently launched a social project for HR and L&D, and company executives — Coaching for Ukraine. The team has managed to engage the well-known HR, and L&D experts at Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, TED speakers, McDonald's, and BBC representatives, who educate Ukrainian businesses to manage the team during the crisis and adapt employees to changes. The initiative was also supported by Ukraine's Ministry of Culture and Information Policy. CMO of AcademyOcean Andrey Byzov and digital marketer Diana Stoyanova wrote an article about how to launch a social project successfully. They shared insights on how to find objectives, an audience, speakers, and partners, create a marketing plan, and extend the project. Being a socially responsible business is no longer a trend, it is a must. We live in an era when many businesses outperform some countries in terms of income. These companies are responsible for their employees, just like any government is accountable for the well-being of its citizens.
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AcademyOcean, a Ukraine-based Software as a Service (SaaS) company that provides a smart Learning Management System (LMS), recently launched a social project for HR and L&D, and company executives — Coaching for Ukraine.


The team has managed to engage the well-known HR, and L&D experts at Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, TED speakers, McDonald's, and BBC representatives, who educate Ukrainian businesses to manage the team during the crisis and adapt employees to changes. The initiative was also supported by Ukraine's Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.


CMO of AcademyOcean Andrey Byzov and digital marketer Diana Stoyanova wrote an article about how to launch a social project successfully. They shared insights on how to find objectives, an audience, speakers, and partners, create a marketing plan, and extend the project.



Being a socially responsible business is no longer a trend, it is a must. We live in an era when many businesses outperform some countries in terms of income. These companies are responsible for their employees, just like any government is accountable for the well-being of its citizens.


Many newbies believe that if you have an idea and have a team, you can go and start the project tomorrow. This is a common mistake: without tactics and strategy, nothing will happen. Creating a high-quality and complete project is challenging, but it is possible if you do your homework. Here we share 6 steps to help you perform your first project successfully.


Step 1: Investigate whether your project is needed


First, spend time understanding the reasons and goals for creating the project. Identify your target audience, and find the right speakers and partners.


How to choose a target audience?


Try to align your target audience with the expertise your company has. The best way to help people is to share your expertise with them. For example, we help implement e-learning in companies and we have experience creating corporate culture. We work with HR and L&D experts worldwide – our expertise lies here.


So, we help the target business audience because of the expertise we have.


  • HRs and L&D
  • CEOs, CMOs, COOs, and founders of companies
  • everyone involved in creating a corporate and educational culture in companies.


How to understand that the project will be relevant to your audience?


SPOILER: This research will help you later in Step 2.


Identifying your target audience's needs, expectations, and problems helps you to understand people better and ensure that you're creating a project that will have a tangible impact on their lives.


Here is how we found out the  need in our project:



According to the survey conducted by the Rating group, 59% of those who had a job before the war are currently working. Out of this percent, 34% are full-time workers. On the other hand, the number of those who lost their jobs also increased - from 35% in June to 39% in July.


You are ready to identify your project's objective or so-called “mission” from the search results. Here is an example of a mission:


  • to allow Ukrainian specialists to study free of charge from global experts and help build the best global employer culture in Ukraine;


  • help businesses adapt employees to the crisis.


How to find speakers and partners?

  • Make a list of thought leaders and well-known influencers in your field.


  • Googling is a good step to start with  (these can be articles with rating lists, speakers of different events, etc.).
  • Another source of potential speakers is the communities they are a part of. In our case, it was  LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera, where there is information about the authors.


Where to find contacts?


  • Social media is the best way to share your expertise, and it's also a way of communication.


  • It is convenient to work with LinkedIn to collect contacts. LinkedIn's algorithms display similar profiles or contacts of people whose profiles you are viewing.


  • You can find a person's email with the help of special services, such as Rocket Reach.


Step 2: Write to potential speakers


Pitching the speakers has a snowball effect—the first one is difficult to find and persuade to join the project, but the number of options will grow later.


  • Describe the mission and the concept of your project.


  • Tell what the speaker's performance will give himself and what the event participants will get.


  • Personalize your email (do not make one template for the entire list!).


  • Take the time to learn more about the expert and find an “icebreaker”.


Step 3. Make a marketing plan

Many people spend excessive time planning every aspect of their project but neglect marketing. Bad idea: marketing helps people discover your project. Focus on practical, cost-effective marketing efforts that don't take up much time.


  • Create an email campaign for your company's target audience. Use Reply or Lemlist for sending personalized emails.
  • Tell people about the project on the company's social media.


  • Try to get free placements in the media – write them and try asking about a free placement. . Choose the media in your niche and look for journalists who have already written something similar to your subject.


  • Create an event on Facebook or LinkedIn Events. People undervalue those tools.


  • After the first successful project activity and publications, gather a list of potential partners and write letters with an offer to support the project.


Step 4: Make the Branding of your Project


It is essential to have an identity in the brand to help the project stay in the target audience's focus. The project's brand must match your organization's brand. You should take into account:


  • The event name. It is the first thing your participants will see.


  • The logo, company colors, and tone of voice. They must be well-matched with the design elements of your business.


  • On-site registration: banners, email signature, minor visual details, and promotional materials.

Step 5: Run the pilot version of the project and draw conclusions


It is crucial to select channels for communication with the audience where you can keep in touch, invite them to the following events, answer their questions, and receive feedback.


The tool with the highest message opening and attraction percentage is the chatbot for WhatsApp/Messenger. There are many services such as Manychat.


The Main advantages of chatbots are:


  • automated distribution


  • possibility to write mass to the whole audience at once


We made our first conclusions after the first event with the help of statistics on the chatbot. Our team analyzed the number of subscribers and visitors on the web.


Additionally, we used the survey tool in the educational Academy, which was created on the platform of AcademyOcean LMS. This made it possible to assess whether we correctly chose the speaker and whether the participants were satisfied with the level of the organization.


Step 6: How to measure the event’s performance?


If the project is well perceived by the audience and benefits the company, it is a sign that it has the potential to scale.


Here are the main tasks:


  • increase and retain  the audience of participants;


  • find new speakers;


  • find new partners to support the project;


Audience. You can use the contacts you have gathered in the chatbots and other communication channels to support your feedback.


For example, in addition to reminders about coaching sessions, we sent a link to courses in the educational Academy, a video recording of coaching sessions, and other helpful information to the chat. This helps to keep the participants involved.


Publications and posts of media partners, as well as the search for TA on LinkedIn and further outreach of mail services, work well to find new participants.


Speakers. After each webinar or lecture, don't hesitate to contact your speakers with a request to tell their colleagues about the project. This can be a post on social media with a call to join the project or a personal message. The main thing is that this recommendation works much better than the "cold" letter from the organizers.


Partners. First of all, partners are interested in 2 factors:


  • The project potential - achievements, audience size, number of speakers, and number of events hosted.


  • The social component - the mission and objective of the project.


Creating a successful social project may have a lot of challenges, but you will get from it as much as you invest. You can rely on valuable data to help build your future strategies: managing the following projects, business development, and audience analysis. This will help you effectively measure the project’s performance.



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