Monday, October 25, 2010

Social Media Sells

This semester, I had to run a fundraiser for an organization I am apart of. To raise money, we sold cheap magazine subscriptions through a program called "Campus Fundraiser." Individuals could follow a link, pick a cheap subscription to a popular magazine, and my organization would raise money - everyone wins. I thought it would be easy to spread the word about the fundraiser because it gave people discounted subscriptions to something they may purchase anyway. I chose to mobilize people to find out about the fundraiser in 4 different ways: on my Twitter feed, on my Facebook page, using word of mouth and by personally emailing close friends and family.

Twitter did not attract any individuals interested in purchasing a magazine subscription. This did not surprise me because I am not an avid Twitter user, so I can't imagine many people really pay attention to my tweets. Total Magazine Subscriptions Sold = 0

Word of mouth did not attract any individuals either - this did surprise me. I thought that face-to-face I'd be most successful, as I could personally answer any questions the person had and convince them to buy magazine subscriptions. Total Magazine Subscriptions Sold = 2 (my own family)

Emailing close family and friends paid off more than I thought it would. This was a simple method that they could then pass along to their friends and people they thought were interested. All the information was clearly laid out and all they had to do was click a link to buy magazines. Total Magazine Subscriptions Sold = 3

Facebook proved to be the most successful outlet to mobilize people towards this fundraiser. I created a Facebook event and invited all of my friends. While hundreds responded "attending" only a few actually bought subscriptions. Even though this discrepancy was so large - people knew about the fundraiser and some actually acted on it. Friends would write on my wall after buying one to let me know they participated, my Aunt posted a question about the fundraiser on my wall, I responded on her wall and within 10 minutes she bought 2 magazine subscriptions! Total Magazine Subscriptions Sold = 6

All in all, I think the key to public mobilization is using every outlet possible. Use each way of communicating to reinforce the message and make sure it gets to people.

1 comment:

  1. I think your specific case is a really hard one to support since I don’t think so many people are purchasing magazines compared to how many people used to in the past (I could totally be wrong about this). I know personally though when I was in middle school and high school I used to buy magazines all the time and had subscriptions at home and now I can get all the info online for free so I don’t anymore. The fact that it is a fundraiser helps, but maybe it wasn’t enough to get people involved. I am as surprised as you are that the face-to-face didn’t have a greater response! Word of mouth is definitely a good way to go, I always hit my family and friends before other people with things like this and they usually can get others as well. Your facebook experience is really funny to me because I am guilty to being one of those people that do that all the time. I'll accept a group request or something like that but never do anything about it. I think its because especially today with the massive amounts of groups I get invited to daily and organizations people send me its hard to break through the clutter and really sit down and read them all. When I go on facebook I just want to use it to well stalk and put up pictures and not as much as a civic engagement kind of thing. Good job mobilizing it sounded like a very difficult task but I agree with you that the more outlets you put it on, the greater your chances are to get response.