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Give us a mug of tea and we’ll show a bit of interest, base a whole social media campaign around the cuppa and you’ve got our attention. As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, Traidcraft are running their successful Big Brew campaign, encouraging individuals, schools, churches and workplaces to host an event that will support smallholder farmers.

So why is this campaign so clever? Pop on the kettle and we’ll tell you…. They’ve put together a fantastic pool of resources for anyone that wants to host an event. It covers everything from press releases to placards but the thing that we really love is the one that ties it all together: The Big Brew Mug Hug. Apart from being a great tongue twister, it’s a brilliant example of getting people involved across all of the social media platforms.

A Mug Hug does what it says on the tin. It’s a hug for your mug. The Traidcraft website has links to a range of knitting patterns that you can use to create a cosy for your cuppa. The charity recommend that creating Mug Hugs could be a part of your sponsored event, raising money for smallholder farmers while your needles are clicking. Post-brewing, knitters can upload and tag their creations within Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or on the ‘After the event’ section of their website. The best will be featured on their Facebook and Flickr accounts.

If you’re not a knitter, within the Traidcraft Facebook page visitors have the option to head to the Big Brew Mug Hug app. After ‘Liking’ the page (Facebook can be so needy sometimes) you can then have a go at designing your very own virtual Mug Hug.

Inside the app you can choose your Mug Hug colour, pattern, accessories and personalise it with a message and image of your choice. Here’s one we made earlier….

Once your mug is ready you can share the design on your timeline or click through to the Traidcraft website and Twitter or Pinterest pages. The best Mug Hugs are featured on Pinterest and the Facebook favourites gallery. If you make it to the favourite collection, you can win yourself some Fairtrade chocolate goodies. (Keep your fingers crossed for ours) The only extra thing we’d like to see is a downloadable knitting pattern for the virtual Mug Hug we created.

It’s a fun campaign with a serious message and the Mug Hugs bring all of the social media networks together in a neat knitted bundle. It’s good to see a campaign that works well with Pinterest, tea and knitting fits the interests of the average Pinner quite nicely. It encourages users to share and engage with the brand, something that many companies still don’t get right. The social media team is responsive and friendly on all of the Traidcraft profiles and it’s helping showcase the hard work that the charity and its supporters are putting in.

Written by EC associate Rebecca Hunt.