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November 30, 2009

An Update on Our ‘Race for the Light’ Social Media Experiment

In this post, Brenda Haines shares the results of Blue Door Consulting’s quest to build a charitable event team, using social media…

Good news!
 
Brenda HainesEarlier this month, we shot out an invitation to our social networks, asking friends, fans and followers to join Blue Door Consulting’s Race for the Light Team.

 

A Team of 17
Within two weeks, we had assembled a team of 17 walkers and runners – double the size of the team we built through direct invitations last year!
 
I am excited to have Andrea, Natalie, Carrie, Kristen, Komal, Nidhi, Kristi, Amanda, Greta, Megan, Adam, Samantha, Mandy, Laura, Gary and Robin join the Blue Door Consulting race team!
 
Background
For those not familiar, Race for the Light is a charitable 5K benefiting Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services. The evening event begins December 5, 2009 at 5 p.m. The race route includes Oshkosh Celebration of Lights in Menomonie Park. (Disclosure: My husband, Alex Hummel, is the agency’s Prevention Education and Outreach Coordinator and I am a former Board member.)
 
Takeaways
What did we learn from this experiment?
 
  • Facebook was, by far, the most effective tool in attracting team members. With the exception of our staff and one other, all of our team members expressed interest in participating via Facebook. We promoted the run-walk via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Friends invited friends. Five of our teammates were invited to participate by other team members. In some cases, I’ve met them before but am not connected via social media. (I’ll fix that, of course.) In other cases, we’ll be meeting for the first time.
  • Using social media for this cause helped us attract team members from near AND far. More than 1/3 of our team is traveling to participate – from Appleton, Madison, Viroqua, Chicago and Fond du Lac. To me, this was the most exciting part and one I think bears passing along. Charitable organizations and businesses may make incorrect assumptions about how far people will travel to attend their event. Social media provides an inexpensive way to help you attract an audience from a wider geographic area that you might otherwise think possible.

Bottom line: Though we didn’t hit our goal of 20 team members, this experiment feels like a great success. We’ll post photos from the race next week.

And, if you would like to join the team, contact me today. I’ll be sending in our team registration form later today – just as soon as I figure out everyone’s age categories! (This is just one more way I’ll be using Facebook!)

– Brenda