Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Social Media Story

I became enamored with social media on accident. When we moved to Mackinac Island in 2010, I became the Assistant Social Media Coordinator at Mission Point Resort. I'd done well the previous season taking pictures and working in the candy shop. They thought I might be good at helping with Facebook.

There were two of us working on social media. We were given the OK to give away a two night stay to a fan to increase our numbers. When we started, Mission Point had around 600 fans. By July 1st, it was over 1,600.

Success, right? I'd say... sort of. Mission Point got lots of new fans. But many of them really didn't care about Mission Point, they just wanted to win something. We started getting lots of posts demanding more giveaways and it wasn't pleasant. Most of our posts were Mission Point focused - our sales, which musician was performing, that sort of thing.

Then I was given an iPhone.

I could take and edit decent quality pictures on my phone and easily post them to Facebook and Twitter. People loved pictures. Soon, I was promoted and given complete oversight of Mission Point's Facebook and Twitter. I started their Pinterest page, claimed their Foursquare locations, and responded to TripAdvisor reviews.

I started my Mackinac Mommy blog, my own personal photo blog. Didn't make a dime off it, just enjoyed sharing the adventure of island life. It was exciting to see it take off and get more widely read! Today, it has over 59,000 views and has been read in over 70 different countries!

I also become active on Twitter and Instagram as MackinacMommy. I participated in Instagram photo contests and hosted some myself titled #visualpoetry. 

Mackinac Island is gorgeous year round, but it essentially shuts down in the winter. Fans could see exactly what it looked like when they couldn't enjoy it in person. The pictures got shared. 

So did the videos.

I got better at meaningful engagement. My focus was less about counting our likes and more about likes that counted. We targeted an audience that loved Mackinac Island. For example, a "Sweet on Mackinac" photo contest:

We got a fantastic response! Here are some of the wonderful submissions:

I didn't like to use pictures I posted as Mission Point on my photo blog. I took so many pictures, it wasn't hard. Here are some of my pictures posted as Mission Point:

We moved off of Mackinac Island in June of 2013. Within a year I was in another position involving social media. The Hope Project is a faith based anti-human trafficking nonprofit in Muskegon with a thrift store attached. I couldn't take pictures of the sex trafficking survivors we serve, so I had to adjust. I utilized Google Alerts to help find relevant articles to share, connected with similar organizations, researched appropriate hashtags, and watched for social media movements to join.

A local graphic designer made this for an end of year fundraising campaign. It got a significant response in shares and page likes, but only one donation resulted. I suspect a more positive take would have been better! This didn't have the kind of result we were aiming for. It wasn't a failure though... it made a significant impact on our audience! 

It took me a while to convince The Hope Project to try Facebook advertising and boost posts. Nobody regretted it! They no longer pay for ads in the local newspaper and their thrift store has had record sales every month since!

I started to use Canva to edit and create images. Canva has similar functions to Photoshop, but was especially created for professionals with no background in graphic design. It is easy for me to play in! 

We moved to Holland and I help create posters and logos for our church:

I've been an RA for Ottagan Addiction Recovery since last summer. It took me a while to convince them to let me help with their Facebook page. The beauty here is they gave me pages of consumer comments to work with! 

Social media is a fascinating and ever-changing field. Every organization will utilize social media differently. It is more crucial to find your unique audience - the audience that counts - than to chase mere numbers. If you know your audience, growth will happen!  May you find the adventure of social media engagement as exciting as I do!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Life at my Folks' House

Phil started his job in Muskegon, and we've been living with my parents until our apartment becomes available (in mid-late July).
The best part of moving- seeing my niece and nephew more!

She loves being with her cousins!

My brother Andrew visiting with his 4 month old son:

My "little" brother Heath, a cool uncle :)

He joined us on a quick trip to get groceries. Heath had to rein me in a little because I was getting too excited over prices down here. (Apparently 2 bags of bagels for $6 is normal here... They're $5 a bag on Mackinac Island!)

My little helpers!

We enjoyed some rain earlier this week,. and the girls played in it!

Marble works! They are as awesome as I remember!

A tire swing out back!

I'm job searching. Anyone going to the island for Lilac Festival? I can't believe I missed the lilacs this year! :/ These Instagram photos are from last year:

I'm mackinacmommy on Instagram too. I will eventually change it, but I'm not ready just yet!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Move off of Mackinac Island :(

There's a reason I've been so quiet- we moved off of Mackinac Island over the weekend. My husband is working on a seminary degree with the goal of full-time ministry. He was offered a position with the Christian non-profit Love INC of Muskegon County. A worthy reason to leave the island! (But I admit I'm rather heartbroken). It happened so quickly I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to many dear Mackinac folks. We packed up our household in two weeks. We fetched boxes with our burleys.

We have too much stuff! (An ever present truth when packing). These are our movies... And we needed one more box. (Don't even ask how many boxes we have of books!)

My oldest went on a road trip with her grandma, which was helpful for our packing. Here she shows off her drawing of the Mackinac Bridge while on the ferry:

Oh man! The fact that this is no longer home is killing me!

Mission Point was wonderful! And the send off cake was incredible. The frosting was as tasty as truffles. And there were fresh strawberries in the layers- so good!

There are two ways to move off of Mackinac- by dray or by luggage cart. We used the latter:

My husband may be a packing genius:

It was great to see one last old fashioned bicycle before we left!

The girls went to grandma's for our final day of moving. Hey! This isn't a catamaran!

I actually broke down and cried while buying fudge before I caught my final ferry off. Who'd have thought I'd get so sentimental over fudge! (I wasn't much better on the ferry- my apologies to the couple sitting behind me.)

It took a lot of work- thank you Dad for making the big drive and helping!

And thank you to Arnold Line Ferry for being so helpful!

I have taken SO many pictures while on Mackinac Island, I can continue my blog. Plus, I will have to visit!