#TurnToLove is a global campaign that seeks to promote unity in the face of terrorism and polarisation. #TurnToLove creators recognize that online discussion and narratives surrounding victims of terrorist violence are often divisive and polarizing. This provides an important opportunity to engage with the general public and combat these harmful trends and challenges by fostering alternative narratives of love and social cohesion. The campaign’s strategy was well thought-out – for example, it was launched on March 22nd, 2017 at the Place de Bourse in Brussels, where thousands of people came together to form a “human chain of love” in honor of those who had lost their lives to terrorism across the world. March 22nd was strategically chosen as the campaign’s launch date because of its significance as the anniversary of both the Brussels attacks of 2016 and the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack in London. #TurnToLove’s creators hoped to use the volume of online discussion surrounding these events to promote their campaign’s chosen messages. The campaigners therefore leveraged an important date that was not only relevant to their message but also helped to promote it further.
This original campaign designated two key messengers – survivors of terrorism and 100 key social media influencers. These messengers were deemed the best way to reach and engage the general public with the #TurnToLove campaign. Campaign organizers then chose five channels through which to disseminate their message. These consisted of media pieces and television interviews, as well as the most commonly used social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. It was hoped that once influential social media accounts began to engage with the Turn to Love hashtag, it would become popular with other social media users (a common marketing tactic known as influencer campaigning). However, through their detailed monitoring and evaluation process, the Turn to Love creators learned that their campaign would have benefited from choosing a more defined audience than just the general public. This would have enabled them to understand how best to promote engagement with their messages and ensure that the campaign generated real impact.