Coverage of this session by Sharon Gilmartin of Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

4:30 —’s Lauren Clevenger introduces¬†Waste Management’s Senior Social Media Manager,¬†April Sonsona.

4:35 — April shares that WM used the Phoenix Open for a very successful campaign; they wanted to make the Phoenix Open go from the “Greatest Show on Grass” to the “Greenest Show on Grass.” The event is widely attended and garners a significant amount of social media attention. To make sure WM was hearing everything, they created the #greenestshow hashtag, and they plastered the hashtag over all marketing materials.

4:37 — April says that the 16th hole of the course holds 20,000 people, and it’s quite a party. The amazing thing is that nothing goes to waste, nothing gets thrown out, and everything gets recycled. To do so, they created phases: pre-tournament (sponsorship awareness) and tournament (services awareness).

4:39 — Pre-tournament, April says that they focused on influencers, and they used the ProAm tournament to do so. They let the players and influencers know about the hashtag and the impending efforts at the event. WM also went to charities. They had a contest where the charity with the most votes got the largest portion of the donations.

4:41 — April shares that during the tournament, a contest they hosted also gained a good bit of attention. The contest encouraged participants to use the hashtag when they spotted a zero-waste basket, and the winner would be randomly selected to obtain two tickets to the suite on the 18th hole, a big-ticket prize!

4:43 — Success! One gentleman had such a great experience during the tournament that he came to a zero waste station the following day to volunteer.

4:45 — April tells us that the zero waste stations were a new, sustainable initiative involving old trash bins that were cleaned, painted, and powered by solar panels (powering the TVs and wifi attached to the station). Anyone who tweeted about the stations was published on the station’s TV for extra recognition.

4:47 — April shares that WM received a ton of attention, including being credited for thought leadership as a result of the initiative. The hashtag include 15,000 uses, and many more impressions and engagements. The measurements from the initiative will serve as a good baseline for tracking improvements in future versions.

4:49 — Making sure that the audience matched the initiative was critical. Golfers and green business go hand in hand, and it was a large part of the success. Similarly, breaking up the event into stages kept the initiative’s momentum going.


Q: What are some of the mechanics in working with your brand’s legal team to get buy-in to undertake this type of partnership?

A: We start working with legal six months in advance so that they are able to review everything.

Q: What was the timeline for the initiative?

A: Six months of planning. In fact, we just had our first call for the 2015 event recently!

Q: As a BtoB, how were you able to justify the spend to your customers?

A: That was harder. Our sales team invited guests to the event who may potentially join as a customer or a vendor, so it allows us to build those relationship. It also highlights all that we can do.

Q: Will you re-use the hashtag?

A: Absolutely! The promo materials were costly, and we want to make the most of those. Unlike the Masters Tournament, this is a much more relaxed vibe that skews younger and “greener.” It’s a good audience for our services.

Q: What were your biggest lessons learned?

A: The contest with the charities didn’t work as well as we would have hoped. It wasn’t sustainable for us, so unless we can come up with a different mechanism, we won’t continue that next year.

Q: Can you expand more on the influencer aspect of the event? How did you pick those individuals?

A: We worked with the people booking the talent for the ProAm to choose the influencers. And in one case, someone had a tweet that was so influential that we recruited him to be an influencer next year!


  1. reblog: Live Blog from Member Meeting 32 | April Sonsona |

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