The Wonders of Facebook

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Facebook users may think their newsfeeds contain nothing more than teens posting selfies, music fans posting cliché lyrics, students ranting about school, or an array of complaints about how horrible Louisiana drivers are. However, a recent personal experience has convinced me this is wrong.

Oh, sure, there was a time when teens and young adults ruled Facebook, but like every great trend, moms, dads and grandmas decided to hop on the Facebook bandwagon. Businesses and marketers soon realized that Facebook is an efficient social networking device. So many target markets and audiences are present and soaking up every minute and every word posted on their newsfeeds.

Marketers and businesses are faced with a tougher task than personal posters when it comes to Facebook posts. They must be sure that every word contributes to the message of what they wish to convey to their audience. They aren’t just posting about what they ate for breakfast. Also, they must be sure to proofread. Businesses with Facebook profiles have turned something so common and routine (i.e. personal profiles) into something that can potentially gain or lose customers.

My Experience
I was able to get a glimpse of the magic of reaching target audiences through Facebook when I was assigned the task of gaining recognition for the Southern Garden Festival. I thought to myself, Facebook posts? No problem; I post at least three a week on my own personal Facebook. However, I did not realize the weight that each word has when you are an administrator for a page and you are not actually posting personally.

Unlike blog posts and personal Facebook posts, copy posted on businesses or organizations’ pages must be short and sweet. It is important that the audience is able to understand the message being conveyed in a short amount of time.

1461627_10152278424631702_3264342206373508477_nThe Southern Garden Festival is an event produced every year in the gardens of Harold and Sarah Schoeffler. The festival benefits a local non-profit organization, Family Promise of Acadiana.

The target audience for this event, horticulture aficionados and art lovers with giving hearts, took to Facebook fairly quickly with fervor.

The posts on the Family Promise Facebook page covered the musicians, the artists and exhibitors, and also the events of the Southern Garden Festival. There were several posts included on the Family Promise Facebook page each week.

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As posts grew more prominent and were posted more regularly, Family Promise views and likes increased substantially. In the end, page likes increase by about 30 percent. The audience became more engaged with the Family Promise page, sharing and commenting on posts.

Covering all the bases of the Southern Garden Festival and giving little teasers beforehand helped get the audience invested in the event and the cause.

What have I learned?
From my experience with the Family Promise Facebook posts, I have learned that it is important to gain interest of the target audience by relating the posts to them. High quality photos that go along with the post also help do the trick. One is never too old for picture books.988435_10152278390681702_8638517945918688120_n

I had the opportunity to attend the Friday night event of the Southern Garden Festival, an Evening Under the Stars, and I was greatly surprised by the large number of people in attendance. It crossed my mind that perhaps our Facebook posts had something to do with this.

Facebook was an important part of the tactics used to increase recognition for the Southern Garden Festival. Alongside social media; newspaper advertisements, email campaigns, PSAs and event calendars also aided in reaching the audience.

970703_10152278396021702_5412790697746644380_nI’m not sure if it was solely social media that brought the guests in attendance to the gardens of the Southern Garden Festival, but I do know that Facebook has made an impact on the people who visit the Family Promise Facebook page. They have become invested in the Family Promise cause.

 

 

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons Sean MacEntee

About Jordyn Leblanc

Jordyn is an aspiring writer who will graduate from UL in May 2014. As an intern at Prejean Creative during the spring semester, she assisted with a number of projects -- chief among them, the Southern Garden Festival.
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