COM0015 – Blog #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

We live in a world where a social media presence is so important. It is hard to believe there are still companies out there who are not utilizing social media to benefit their business. Some companies who are really doing social media well are Ottawa Public Health and Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. A company who would especially benefit from a proper social media plan is Michael’s Craft Store.  

Successful Social Media Strategies

The first organization that I would like to highlight as having a successful social media strategy is Ottawa Public Health. I was drawn to this organization as they have been a beacon of hope and information since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. I believe they have a successful social media strategy because they post very relevant and helpful information, while remaining relevant and humorous.  They have successfully managed to relate public health guidelines to many different situations including the Superbowl, mental health initiatives, and reducing misinformation. 

While I have enjoyed watching Ottawa Public Health Posts over the course of the pandemic, a recent personal favourite was their Superbowl Tweet seen here: 

This post shows humour and relates to so many football fans but is also humorous enough for the non-football fan, all while reminding us to stay home and stay safe (the real message). It was clearly well received by their audience with many retweets and replies. Posts like this keep the information out there and continue to conversation between Ottawa Public Health and their audience, as well as outwards to even more audiences. 

The second organization that I would like to highlight as having a successful social media strategy is Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. While this is a much smaller organization and currently only on Facebook, it is clear to see they have an impressive social media strategy. Centre 105 is a day program in Cornwall that supplies meals several days a week to those most vulnerable. I was drawn to this organization as I have a soft spot in my heart for those working to make a better world for those less fortunate. It has become obvious that Centre 105 uses their social media to thank their supporters as well as show the supporters what is being done with their donations. 

This post from Centre 105 is one example of them showing how donated money is used to produce meals for those in need. 

As a supporter of the centre, I find this very enlightening. I also tend to share this information quite a bit. By posting this, I think it makes it easier to find new supporters and also allow current supporters to start a conversation with others. Another thing Centre 105 does on social media that I believe makes them successful is thanking people or organizations for donations, like this one:

I think this works well for them as it shows their gratitude, but also allows them to reach a bigger audience by thanking and tagging the organization.

Room for Improvement!

The organization I think needs to adopt or at least improve its social media strategy is Michael’s Craft Store. Michael’s only appears to have a verified Facebook page, and nothing on Twitter or Instagram. While their Facebook page is active, shows great videos, and holiday ideas, I do think they could be posting different types of content as well as using other social media platforms to reach different audiences. 

I think Michael’s is missing out on a huge demographic by not using Instagram and Tik Tok to make crafting and DIY videos. With much younger audiences on both of these platforms, I think they are missing a huge opportunity to connect. Since both those platforms are made for videos – why not show some new craft ideas to a younger audience. I have also noticed that a lot of people hashtag or mention Michaels on Twitter and Instagram, by not being on these platforms they are missing so many interactions and audience growth. 

While Michael’s is on YouTube, I think one area they should focus on is the DIY Bride. Many brides are looking to cut costs and do their own decorating – Michael’s could easily have an entire play list dedicated to bridal ideas such as bouquets, floral arrangements, centre pieces, and more. 

Michael’s is certainly on social media with a large fan base, but I do see a lot of room for improvement for them. I think if Michael’s wanted to create social media objectives, they would be to increase online sales through social media and grow a dedicated audience on new platforms. I think they could achieve this by launching onto the other platforms, and begin making specifically DIY Bridal videos, as well as asking for their viewers to post their home crafts and share those. Everyone likes to be featured by a large company! 

Social media is an important part of doing business. I think businesses should always be monitoring their own social media, as well as that of their competitors to see where they too can improve. Is your company successful in social media? Tell me about your successes in the comments below!

Sources:

Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. No Date. [Facebook Page]. Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Centre105

Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. 2021, February 5. [Facebook Post]. Happy Friday. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Centre105/posts/2781868662079651

Centre 105 Trinity Drop-In Day Program. 2021, January 13. [Facebook Post]. Thank you Angela. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Centre105/posts/2766244236975427

Michaels Stores. No Date. [Facebook Page]. Michaels Stores. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Michaels

Michaels Stores. No Date. [YouTube Page]. Michaels Stores. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelsStores

Michaels Stores. 2020, April 12. [Facebook Profile Picture]. Michaels Stores Profile Picture. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Michaels/photos/a.447175974164/10158473718659165/

Ottawa Public Health. No Date. [Facebook Page]. Ottawa Public Health. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth

Ottawa Public Health. No Date. [Twitter Page] Ottawa Public Health. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth

Ottawa Public Health. 2021, Feb 7. [Twitter Page] Superbowl Post. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1358615144176230400

COMM0015 – Blog Post #2: Strong & Weak Organizations

I recently had the honour of attending the annual Three Wishes Gala hosted by Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario. For this blog assignment, I was drawn by the tireless efforts of the countless volunteers who make this important mission a success. I found myself curious about what similar organizations, which depend equally on fundraising and volunteer efforts to change the lives of sick children, were doing to engage the community online. Some are leveraging social media to their great advantage, and others are missing the mark a little.

Strong Organizations: Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario & CHEO

Make-a-wish

Photo Credit: Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario
(http://www.makeawisheo.ca/index.php)

Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario is consistently applying their social media strategy to their website, Facebook page, and Twitter Page (@MakeAWishEO). While their online presence is relatively new, having joined Facebook in January 2012, they have increased their efforts in 2013 to attract and engage new audiences.

Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario is a regular contributor to its parent organization’s YouTube channel, boasting videos of fundraisers, wish reveals, and benefit concerts. The Eastern Ontario branding is consistently applied throughout their online activities, so the online community is always aware who it is they’re engaging with. They have direct links to all their social media platforms clearly visible on their homepage, as well as a Twitter feed. They also use a consistent tone throughout their messaging, clearly demonstrating a direct application of a larger strategy.

CHEO Logo

Photo Credit: CHEO
(http://www.cheo.on.ca/)

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is another organization that is making exceptional use of a social media strategy. Given the subject matter, CHEO is very good at making meaningful connections with their audience, highlighting the importance to the organization of helping these children get well, and providing emotional support to their families. Like Make-A-Wish, they have applied consistent branding across all platforms, have made direct links to each available on their homepage, but are even more active and engaging in their approach.CHEO posts a number of new videos each month to their YouTube channel, on a variety of topics, ranging from health talks, to parent experience interviews, to celebrity fundraisers.

On Twitter and Facebook, they are responding regularly to questions about hospital wait times and flu clinic dates, they are posting images from their family New Year’s party, responding in gratitude to parents who comment on their exceptional services, and are even able to help you find a lost cell phone on Boxing Day.

Twitter CHEO

Photo Credit: Twitter @CHEOhospital
(https://twitter.com/CHEOhospital)

There is no question that these two organizations are implementing what appear to be successful social media strategies. They are clearly motivated to maintain lasting relationships within the community, following up on children’s progress, and showing a genuine concern for both the business and personal side of their operations.

Weak Organization: Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada

Children's Wish

Photo Credit: Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada
(http://www.childrenswish.ca/en-on/home)

At first glance, Children’s Wish appears to be fully engaged in online activities. They have a website, produce videos, and they have a Facebook page and Twitter presence, as well as a YouTube channel. However, upon closer inspection, none of these activities appear to be coordinated at all. The organization does not appear to have any formal social media strategy in place, and their online efforts are completely disjointed. It would appear that provincial, local, and national offices are operating in silos with little coordination.

The national website is divided into provincial chapters, and upon exploration of the Ontario site, there is no evidence of a social media presence at all. The three videos embedded on their homepage (some over three years old) do not link to the organization’s single national YouTube channel. Furthermore, the organization has only produced 17 videos in the last six years, and has a poor showing of only 70 subscribers; which isn’t surprising since the only way to find the channel is to manually search for it. The organization would benefit from posting not just scripted videos, but also candid videos of wish reveals.

The organization has a Facebook page governed by the National Capital chapter, which is again counterintuitive given that the website is divided into provincial chapters. Although there are others, such as Newfoundland and Labrador, that also host their own pages. While the national Children’s Wish has a strong Twitter following of over 7,500 followers, there are other Twitter presences for some, but not all, provinces.  It is unclear which accounts interested parties should follow, and where to direct attention.

This organization, like the others, depends on fundraising and donations to proceed. Their subject matter is gripping and lends itself to engagement with the community. An organization such as Children’s Wish could build long-term, lasting relationships through social media engagement. First and foremost, the organization would benefit from a national strategic social media strategy, with clear direction on implementation at the provincial, and if needed, at the local levels. Measures need to be put in place to ensure consistent messaging for the organization across platforms and throughout the country.

COM0015 Blog Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

like-and-unlike-stamps

In conjunction with viewing the Lung Association’s video and checking out their social media practice for a lesson in this course, I would categorize them as a weak organization.

To me, the website or “home-base” does not connect to the visitor right away. It is clear what their mission is, but as a reader I’m not drawn into their story right away. It should be visible right on their homepage how the Lung Association makes a difference and why I should be donating money. I find their blog well written and interesting but somewhat hidden. There is a little slideshow on the homepage but no other reference to their blog, so if I miss the picture on the slideshow, I will not likely find their blog.  On their blog page, I can choose blogs from different provinces. I would find it more useful to have a selection of topics to choose from.

The Lung Association is active on national and provincial levels on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. None of their social media presences have significant traffic. As an example, their national Facebook page has just over 1330 likes but more importantly, there is almost no engagement. I’ve also noticed that the link to their YouTube channel on their Facebook page is not working.

There must be a reason why the Lung Association had decided to entertain so many local social media presences but I think it requires too much time to energize and maintain them properly. It also might be more effective for the employees to work together to come up with ideas and content while providing a more collaborative environment. In the video the Lung association mentioned their limited resources which makes it even more important to work efficiently and nurture creativity.

I would call the Heart and Stroke Foundation is a strong(er) organization. Their social media activities are limited but they seem to do a better job connecting and engaging with Canadians. While I was looking into their activities, I noticed that a lot of readers posted negative comments on Facebook because of a certain YouTube video, which criticizes the Heart and Stoke Foundation for endorsing a specific product.  I thought it was impressive that someone replied on behalf of the organization on a Saturday within the hour.  Their response was somewhat official for my liking, but I think it was appropriate for the situation. I also noticed an idea for a fundraiser to get sponsors to donate $1 for each “like” received through a certain app. Their postings were more informative and less “official”.

I was surprised to see that they received over 120,000 likes and with engagement at almost 5% while the Canadian Red Cross totaled only 21,000 likes and less than 3% engagement. I found similar metrics on Twitter. I picked Heart and Stroke over Canadian Red cross because I thought they where more relevant given they are similar company sizes.

photo credit: yaymicro.com