History Channel Inspires Fans to #ThankAVet

Instead of putting itself at the center of its efforts to honor U.S. veterans in the days leading up to Memorial Day, cable programmer History has activated its fans to say thank you via its Thank a Vet Twitter campaign. Using the theme "it's never too late to say thank you," the A&E Television Networks brand has gotten out of the way of its own social media initiative and is serving as a conduit for Americans to share their thoughts about those who have made sacrifices for their country.

History is donating $1 for every tweet sent using #ThankAVet (up to $10,000). All proceeds will go to America's VetDogs, a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of disabled veterans and active duty personnel by providing guide dogs and training.

This simple but effective idea has inspired a constant flow of heartfelt tweets using the #ThankAVet hashtag, and the tweeters aren't just thanking veterans—History itself is feeling the love. Among the tweets praising History:

"The History Channel is doing a wonderful thing! Tweet with the hashtag #thankavet and they'll donate a dollar to America's Vetdogs!"

"Thank you HISTORY-thank you vets!"

"Thank you @historychannel for donating $1 for every #thankavet. And thank you from the bottom of my heart to all #veterans."

Merely making a flat donation to America's VetDogs would not have had the same impact as this Twitter campaign, which has been enormously successful at creating a sense of shared community. Letting the audience speak for itself is often the goal on Twitter, but it takes a crystal-clear call to action to really make that happen.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI