Grab a burger. Beat MS.

That was the mission for tens of thousands of Canadians on 22 August 2019 as they celebrated the 11th annual Burgers to Beat MS day.

From coast to coast, family, friends and burger-lovers alike gathered at their local A&W Canada restaurants to enjoy a Teen Burger®, where $2 from every purchase supported the estimated 77,000 Canadians living with MS.

Born out of a fruitful partnership between the MS Society of Canada and A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., the campaign beat its historic goal of $2 million this year – a momentous milestone for both organizations.

All summer, Canadians showed their support by rounding up their bills at the A&W register, giving through in-restaurant donation mugs, and donating online, culminating their fundraising efforts with a splash on Burgers to Beat MS day. The proceeds raised will fund world-class MS research, programs and services, and advocacy efforts to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by the disease.

At the forefront of the campaign is the Burgers to Beat MS spokesperson, three-time Olympian and Canadian women’s national soccer team captain, Christine Sinclair. Sinclair, whose mother lives with MS, inspired Canadians to join the fight while sharing the realities of MS.

#BurgersToBeatMS Social Media Campaign

#BurgersToBeatMS is our most successful social media campaign each year, drawing positive engagement and record-breaking traffic to our channels. It serves as an opportunity to drive a national movement through a ripple effect on social media that ultimately calls for action to support Canadians touched by MS.

The Goal: To “own the day” on social media

This year’s goal was simple: create national awareness of the campaign through social media. Our strategy focused on promoting the hashtag #BurgersToBeatMS to reach the widest audience possible. Through trending on Twitter and populating social media feeds with campaign content, the idea was to ‘own the day’ on social media, broadening the campaign’s impact.

The Solution: Empower Canadians to make positive change

On 22 August, we asked our audience to share their “burger selfie” and use #BurgersToBeatMS for a chance to be featured on our channels. We relied heavily on our MS community’s support to ignite the growth of user-generated content.

The Results:

  • Our social media channels garnered 1,364,854 impressions on Burgers to Beat MS day.
  • On Twitter, we were trending from 9 AM ET – 7 PM ET in Canada.
  • We facilitated a Facebook Fundraiser matching campaign that raised $9,447 through 225 donations.

MS Society of Canada’s campaign lessons for the MS movement

1. Your MS community is your biggest support system! Encouraging your community to help spread the word about the campaign can go a long way. For social media, it’s useful to create shareable content pieces that users can share with their networks.

2. Posing a question to your audience is a great way to boost engagement on your social channels. For this campaign, we asked users “who are you supporting this Burgers to Beat MS day?” to inspire two-way dialogue.

3. Providing accessibility on all fronts is vital for any campaign. On Burgers to Beat MS day, we used Facebook Live to allow users to experience the event virtually, ensuring we were promoting an accessible option for our social media audience.

Authored by Mari Satoh, Manager, Content Strategy and Communications

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