Another crucial area of my work for the fundraiser was as the organizer of a social media campaign. For this, I ran the FCG Facebook page which was a source of information and updates regarding our project. This platform was able to reach both St. Norbert and local community members, as well as people beyond those populations. Both the ENGL 306 class and the FCG team were doing a lot of great work, but a social media presence was essential in order to get that information out into the world. Running the Facebook page was a way for me to promote the importance of our cause and to get people interested in our work.
Before working on this project, I had no experience with running a social media platform, so collaboration was an important part of my process. I worked closely with community organizer and graphic designer for the project, Bethany Thier, in order to increase my knowledge of how to effectively navigate my way around Facebook. She offered me invaluable advice about how to format posts as well as when to post in order to reach the largest amount of people. My work was undoubtedly benefitted by the collaborative relationship that I had with her.
I also collaborated again with Dr. Scheler to improve the concision of my posts. Writing professionally for social media is different than any writing I had ever done before, and required a new level of concision. Media goers expect interesting snippets of information that they can read in a matter of seconds. This is something that I grappled with over the course of the semester and improved upon greatly over my time as coordinator of the social media campaign. Initially, Dr. Scheler provided me with feedback on a few of my posts and I used these to guide my writing moving forward, to the point where I was able to create posts completely independently.
It was also important for me to make the best use of the visual and social elements of facebook. This involved me using hashtags to promote our fundraiser and sponsors, as well as providing images of some of the individuals who had a stake in our work. By adding these personal touches, audiences could feel more connected to our work and more encouraged to contribute to our cause.
I also reached out to Bethany as a graphic designer to create an image that could show the progress of our donations. My idea was to have a gardening related object that could be filled in over time as donations came in. She came back to me with the below graphic. This was overall a great way to engage readers in a visually striking manner while also documenting our success.
After the fundraiser was completed, I was able to reflect upon the success of the social media campaign. In terms of its effectiveness, I have measured that in two ways. Firstly, as the above graphics show, we were able to meet our goal and raise over $2,000.00 for the FCG. I believe that this was directly affected by the social media campaign and its ability to reach a large number of people. This is where the second measure comes in. The Facebook page was able to accrue over 150 likes in a little longer than a month and had a maximum post reach of over 1,500 individuals. Both of these evaluations are evidence of the social media campaign’s ability to effectively reach the audience that it intended to, thus resulting in donations for the fundraiser.