How do you get 50 authors prepared to manage 15 Facebook pages in less than 2 months with a team of 4 people?
The YMCA of Metro Chicago faced just this challenge in the summer of 2010. There was a desire to get a presence established on Facebook in order to connect with our communities in new ways and do it quickly! Our bigger challenge was managing the pages once they were launched. This case study will walk through the process we followed to get the pages launched and equipped the authors to manage them.
Below is a short summary or for a more visual representation view our YMCA of Metro Chicago Facebook Case Study Presentation.
Our members and communities connect with their individual center and want information from them. But there are numerous obstacles in allowing our membership centers to take primary responsibility for their own pages:
- Membership center staff already fill numerous roles and have limited time to dedicate to new projects
- Experience with social media and online communities is limited in depth beyond personal experience
- Staff already struggle to get content created for our websites, newsletters and email communications
- Limited full-time staff at some centers and limited resources to pay part-time staff
Our Metro office had challenges of its own to overcome:
- Limited capacity to manage page for all centers, need to equip authors to create sustainability
- Brand management and YMCA information needed to be monitored and consistent across our channels
- How can we provide enough support to make sure the center pages are successful and what do we do if they aren’t
- Manage risk, possible negative interactions and uphold character values
The key to our success was the readiness of the authors, not the mechanics of the page. So with seven weeks to work with we decided the key was to establish staggered deadlines for the authors to meet and a focused one day boot camp.
|Due with application||Due at Kickoff||Due before Boot Camp||Due before launch|
While the authors were busy preparing their materials; Marketing and IT collaborated to get the Facebook pages configured and designed for all of the centers. Our approach was to get all of the pages setup identically to a point where they were ready to launch without involvement of the centers. We created guidelines of what could be edited and what should be left standard. We wanted our centers to focus on the content, not the structure of the page. However we did give them the long term freedom to make changes once they were ready to support it themselves.
This structured approach allowed us to gauge the readiness and commitment of each member center even before launch. It also helped set expectations for our Boot Camp.
Once the authors were trained and the pages launched; the centers have primary responsibility for managing the page with limited support from Marketing and IT. So we needed to be very purposeful in providing them with the appropriate resources. We provided them with:
- Social Media Author Acknowledgement – In addition to getting their commitment to represent the YMCA appropriately, we provided clear expectations of the role
- Comment Escalation Resources – we shared the Air Force Blog Response Chart along with a Comment Escalation Flow Chart to clearly identify steps in replying
- Content Tips –Strategies for quality content and how to represent the brand
- Page Administration Guidelines – Parts of the pages that can be edited and disallowed Facebook Applications
- Marketing Calendar Template – Table structure to assist in thinking about how to post content across all communications and marketing
- Links to articles on privacy – Shared links on updating your personal Facebook profile privacy settings
Most of these resources are included in the attached Facebook Manual.
Aug 23 we launched our pages, before the end of the day we had our 25 fans to secure our vanity URLS and our authors were posting welcome messages. Over the next couple weeks our centers worked to promote the page to all of their staff to build up some initial fans. We placed the “find us on Facebook” button on all of our website homepages. By the end of August we had over 1100 fans across the pages, 116 wall posts by authors, almost 1500 unique page views and some great early engagement. In October we began our mass promotion of the pages to our members through emails, newsletters, program brochures and more.
As of today, Nov 2, we are up to 2,285 fans across 15 pages, with 2,618 unique views and 396 comments\likes on our content for October. Our authors have done a fantastic job moderating comments and posting content!