LAUP’s SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERIENCE – SELL A BUNCH MORE DODGER DAY TICKETS
The audience we were aiming for was internal (employees) and external; anyone who had submitted their email addresses to us, families of employees, our service providers and the families that they serve. We used the Dodger Day as a hook to bring in the larger sports, baseball and Los Angeles fans out there into our universe. The LAUP facebook fanpage became the ‘go to’ page for all announcements, contests and interactions relating to the Dodger Day event.
If our marketing strategy for Dodger Day were a hot dog, social media was the condiment that made the whole experience more personal. In order to give Dodger Day some resonance, we re-positioned it as an end of school event that would celebrate the transition to Kindergarten for our 11K students. This would appeal to parents, families and our providers. We reached out directly via hard copy invites, person-to-person pitches and education on the importance of the event. We then used social media to create buzz, create fans and finally convert fans into ticket buyers. Next time? Social Media will be the BUN!
Imitation is the finest form of flattery, so we lurked around facebook to see just who was doing it right. We looked at for-profits like Victoria’s Secret PINK, we looked at pop-up organizations like Hopenhagen, and non-profits such as the Humane Society of the United States and March of Dimes. Finally we peeked into some of our own past experiences to see how companies we knew from the inside had evolved from pre-social media to today. Our findings were used to design some of the framework we used for the campaign and for our social media plan in general.
We hit up every single department and person internally who had names and emails on hand that might not have made it into our database. We increased our Constant Contact reach from 3K to closer to 6K by just moving and shaking what we had. We then used Constant Contact to e-blast Dodger Day news, contests and Fan-Drives.
They walked among us! Internal and External Super fans began to percolate up quickly, so we harnessed their energy to be brand ambassadors for us in the flesh and on Facebook.
Three heads are better than one! We reached out to our primary funder First 5 LA, and to Supervisor Gloria Molina, and created some synergy with both by offering a First Pitch to them. The warmth could be felt right outta the park!
Thanks to our friends at Classic Party Rentals LA, we had access to some suite tickets for LAKERS games throughout the playoff season. We created fan-drives around the tickets and watched a steady uptick in fans. Surprisingly, the fans have stuck around!
We went on to eclipse our goal, out sell last year and to bring in some major corporate sponsors to our VIP suite.
At the start of the experiment we had an outdated PERSONAL page with 60 friends and 300 or so fans. We now have a proper fanpage with 878 fans and counting. Plans are in the works for a welcome landing page, a subgroup of fans created an LAUP parent ambassador fanpage and we went on to create a blog and fanpage for our incoming CEO.
The experiment has opened our eyes and minds to the power of the like-minded and the possibility of partnerships. We met all of you, we met some incredibly loyal fans and we got to know people within our organization just a bit better.
There is always a gap between what we want to do and what actually happens. That magical space is called learning!
We shoulda dug deeper to establish partnerships from the start of the experiment.
We got so wrapped up in execution that we forgot to practice! Practice means throwing out some pitches to see where they land. Practice means polishing up on things like policies, training and educating users and giving folks the tools they need to be successful Brand Ambassadors.
Now that the event is over, we miss the hub-bub and the excitement! We shoulda planned and created more opportunities for engagement post-event. We don’t want to loose our fans now!
We didn’t hear you when you said listen!We assumed that all of the conversations were happening where we could see them so we didn’t bother to engage in listening practices. Well, that’s going to change!
When we ran out of freebies like LAKERS tickets, we felt vulnerable. What could we possibly do now to attract more fans? Well, we just asked nicely. On a Friday afternoon, we sent out an email blast simply asking people to participate in our fandrive. Every time I checked in over the weekend, I got choked up….folks were fanning and dropping the kindest notes. By Monday morning, we had increased our fans by more than 50.
Early Childhood Education folks are a loyal bunch…we didn’t see a drop-off in fans once the game was over. In fact, people are hankering for engagement on the subject they hold so dear; Their Children. So now it is a question of harnessing that energy into actionable content while continuing to grow our base.
It’s going to take teamwork. We need to partner up with like minded organizations, movers and shakers, parents, preschool providers and advocates. We need to set our sights on the next home run!
The peanut shells have been swept away, the soda spills have dried…Now what. We have to DREAM BIG. If we are to deliver on our mission of providing preschool access to ALL Angeleno 4 year-olds, we need to create the kind of synergy that will get folks to Choose Preschool with their hearts, their votes and their dollars. Social Media will ‘be the bun’ this time. We will be calling on each and all of you to join us, fan us, friend us, follow us …. The Dream Big: Choose Preschool social media campaign has officially kicked off!
Lessons Learned from LA Universal PreSchool Experiment