Currently, Great River Family Promise exists exclusively on Facebook in terms of social media outlets. The members that they reach are those who have found out about use through different outlets and our page does little to engage and keep our followers.
Personally when I am finding out about a new business or organization for the first time I first look at their website and then look to see if they have a Facebook page. How their page is managed and the content they share tells me a lot about the group; is this group constant in their involvement with social media, do they post on a regular basis and provide information about their mission? or do they have long periods of time between their posts, leave comments unresponsive, and lack any interaction with their followers?
The advantages of having a content marking calendar will benefit GRFP immensely. Time often gets away from the staff of the shelter as families are coming and going, emergencies arise and daily tasks take over. Having a calendar that outlines either themes or specific topics for posts on any particular day will ease the stress and cut down on the time social media marketing takes out of the day. Also, having a calendar that has our ideas and themes for posts will allow for different staff members and our volunteers to assist in the posting of information.
Facebook: My goal is to both inform and engage our Facebook followers. In the past our organization’s page has gone weeks between posts and when a post did get made, more often than not it was a plea for donations or volunteer support. By implementing the content calendar we can strategically post information, share links and attract more followers.
I want our Facebook page to be a place that provides information to people that are new to the idea of Family Promise and those who are deeply involved. By sharing links to other community organizations and happenings, we will grow in our mission to be a collaborative organization. By asking questions and sharing answers and we make progress in education our followers about the current status of homelessness in their community, state and nation. By recognizing our volunteers, sharing pictures our of staff and providing updates on our families we will inspire a sense of community between our supporters and followers that will assist in fostering a productive program.
Instagram: I am excited about implementing Instagram as a marketing platform for GRFP. Even short posts on Facebook can take time out of the day that you didn’t have to spare. With Instagram I can take a picture, including a comment if I wish, and post it for my followers to see and share. These pictures have the power to communicate a strong message by showing more to the receiver than a typed post. I am 100% positive that a picture of a family moving into housing after a stint at our shelter can convey the emotion in that moment better than my written word. We have volunteers and guest families at our shelters 24/7. Not all of these volunteers and family members have consented to a photo release and that may, at times, limit the photos that can be taken and shared with our followers. This means that Instagram is a supplement to Facebook in our mission of social media marketing.
Where am I going with all of this?? My mission is to the increase the amount of volunteers, donations and monetary gifts brought into Great River Family Promise. Accessing our social media marketing and content development on a quarterly basis will allow for the measurement of these outcomes. Considering my Holiday campaign ran almost completely on our social media outlets and raises over $3,000. I am very curious to see what a longer and more intentional effort can yield for GRFP.
After the first month, using the Great River Family Promise April Calendar as a reference, I want to analyze the data from Hootsuite. The information collected by Hootsuite will tell me when, in what concentrations and for how long our followers are viewing our posts. With this information I will be able to change the times of my posts to connect more people and replicate our most popular topics. During the second month I will use the information for Hootsuite and tailor the times and amounts of our posts to reflect the needs of our followers. Also, continually making our posts and interactions more relevant, informative and engaging. After the third month, reflecting on all of time and effort spent on the social media marketing versus the outcome of donations and volunteers collected I will prepare a return on investment report.
Aside from only showcase information and communicating with our followers in a one way manner, I want to facilitate interactions, conversations and relationships with our followers. Collecting information and understanding how, at what times and in what concentrations our information is best absorbed will assist in this. Developing our content ahead of time will keep us on track in being viewed and perceived as a professional organization that prides themselves on sharing information, asking for assistance when needed and respects the support of it’s followers.