It is often the first step that is the most difficult. Whether you’re an individual or a large organization trying to define your social media footprint, taking the first step can seem a bit overwhelming.
There are a seemingly endless list of elements to consider in the formulation of a viable social strategy: objectives, measurable goals, ROI, messaging strategy, content strategy, delegation of responsibilities, identification of participants, means for measurement, monitoring, and analysis. The list goes on and on.
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But perhaps one of the most important considerations is the design and deployment of social assets like a website, Facebook Fan Page, or Twitter account. It should reflect the image and message that you are trying to convey in your content strategy. You want your visitors, fans, and followers to get a real sense of what your brand and message are all about.
Here is how we helped our clients, Howard & Suzie Lederer, express their message in the design of their social assets for their annual charity event.
Howard & Suzie Lederer began this annual charity event in their backyard several years ago. Each year it grew, both in terms of the number of attendees and the amount it raised for the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas. In the past, the marketing effort focused primarily on the enormous reach that Howard & Suzie have in their network of friends. This year, Suzie decided to raise the bar yet again and find ways to utilize social media to expand her reach in hopes of raising more money for the BGCLV.
We had been working with Suzie on another project and eventually the conversation about social media shifted to the WSOB Charity Poker event. We began discussing the possibilities for charities and non-profit organizations and ultimately decided to give it a go. Because the event had no social footprint, we basically had to start from scratch.
Though it may seem obvious, we wanted to utilize social marketing to raise more money for the BGCLV. But as we drilled deeper during the initial brainstorming session we realized that we had more than just that one objective. Here is the list of objectives that we developed:
- Use social marketing to raise more money for the BGCLV than in previous years
- Build a centralized database of donors to serve as a base for future events
- Offer supporters a way to officially register for the event in advance
- Provide a secure way to accept donations online from supporters that cannot attend the event
- Share the experience with videos and photos from past events
Here are the social assets that we decided to create to support our defined objectives.
For now, the Facebook Fan Page for the World Series of Barbecue & Charity Poker Tournament is the central hub for all of the activity around the event. Visitors to the page can become a Fan of the event, make a donation, and even register in advance for Karaoke, a highlight of years past.
We created a Charity Registry on JustGive.org that allows us to embed a link on the Fan Page that opens the registry in a new window and allows visitors and Fans to make secure online donations with a credit card. Those donations are then disbursed to the BGCLV each month minus the minimal administrative fees that are assessed by JustGive.org on each transaction.
Visitors can also register for the event on the Fan Page. The registration function is simply a form that opens in a new window and integrates with VerticalResponse, an email management system. We created an account for our client with VerticalResponse that provides us with the ability to dump all registrants into a dedicated list so that we can communicate with them as the event nears and provide them with specific instructions on how to make their donations the day of the event.
Nevada Gaming Law prohibits us from collecting the buy-in for the poker event. That function must be provided by the Golden Nugget, the licensed gaming venue for the poker event and will be done the day of the event. For that reason, we decided to simply accept registrations using the Vertical Response form integration with a dedicated list.
The Twitter account for the event was created to serve as both a marketing tool and an information channel. We were able to identify other Twitter members that have an interest in poker and follow them. Many follow us back creating an opportunity to share the vision for the event as well as educate them about the role that the Boys & Girls Club plays in the Las Vegas community.
The addition of a Twitter account to the marketing mix also gives us a very efficient way to put out event updates as it draws closer and reach more possible donors that may not be able to attend in person. Twitter will play a critical role in the fund raising effort made possible by the Donate button on the Fan Page.
There are a few other social outposts that we have leveraged for the marketing effort. We have uploaded hundreds of images from past events to a Flickr Stream dedicated to the annual event. Our hope is that attendees will turn to this stream to reminisce about past events and even contribute to the stream this year.
What’s coming next for the WSOB Charity Poker event?
Vestor Logic began work on this project about 30 days ago many of the moving parts are just now falling into place. This year’s event is on July 2, 2010 at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Our marketing effort is beginning in earnest at the time of this post and we expect to exceed all expectations for both the effectiveness of the social media initiatives and the fundraising results that will benefit the BGCLV.
We have begun the initial web design process on a website dedicated to this annual charity event and should be able to launch in the next few months. This website will serve as the content hub for the event and will provide a base for donors and supporters moving forward. The site will host the photos and videos for all past events and will offer a mechanism for anyone to participate in the ongoing conversation about the involvement that the BGCLV has in the Las Vegas community.