AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Aug/18

4

Summer Social Media Tips by Jessica Byrnes

Jessica Byrnes

Jessica Byrnes

Hi, I’m Jessica Byrnes, a Marketing and Communications Associate on the AEA team. I joined the AEA staff full-time this past June, which means my summer has been spent learning as much as possible about our organization – and about evaluation in general. While the practice of evaluation is, admittedly, a relatively new concept for me, I’m learning why the field is so important and how evaluation is impacting programs that I interact with on a daily basis.

As a recent college graduate, I am very familiar with social media, and it’s something I use both personally and professionally. Here are a few social media tips you can try before the summer ends:

Hot Tip: Consult the calendar

The calendar is a great place to look for inspiration when it comes to drafting your social media posts. In addition to major holidays like the Fourth of July or Labor Day, there are also some fun and quirky holidays you can utilize for creative content ideas. Choose the days that are relevant to your practice and enjoyable for your audience! For example:

8/5: National Friendship Day
8/9: National Book Lovers Day
8/12: International Youth Day
8/15: National Relaxation Day

Hot Tip: Cite seasonal activities

Beyond holidays, there are several seasonal activities that relate to the summer months: cookouts, vacations, beach trips, back-to-school activities, camping, and more. Use these events as inspiration. Create or share a cool infographic that relates to going back to the classroom, add a personal story to your Facebook or Twitter posts, or put out a simple poll to see what goals your followers have accomplished during the summer. All of these tactics can increase your engagement with followers.

Hot Tip: Try something new

If the summer is a slow time for your practice, take advantage of the downtime by trying something new, like experimenting with a new social network. Do your due diligence to understand if introducing a Pinterest or Instagram page – or even an evaluation blog – is right for your needs. Whatever the undertaking may be, the summer is a great time to learn something new that you’ll be able to use throughout the year.

Feel free to share with us the ways you’ve used social media this summer. I look forward to the rest of my summer with AEA and to all the months that follow!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 comments

  • Meg Baker · August 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    I appreciate your honest and (very) relatable post. I am a new teacher and MEd student exploring program evaluation. It is so great to see professionals of all exposures to evaluation participating in the learning community here. In your field of work, the use of social media is incredibly important in accessing larger amounts of followers, free marketing opportunities, and connecting with a larger community of people, without borders! I am currently evaluating a local project in my community and would really appreciate your advice in creating a stronger social media presence. I will give you a little background of the project and post a link to my blog regarding a larger scope of what I have discovered about the program, thus far.

    I am evaluating a program in my community called the Apple Capture Program. We live in a town in rural BC which has a high proportion of wildlife (mainly deer and bears). There are also a large proportion of fruit trees too, which attract wildlife and bring them into town. The program is designed to connect people that cannot harvest their trees with people that could use the food to feed their families. The program provides free harvesting materials for people to use and both families benefit, thereby reducing wildlife encounters and helping support local families. The program also uses left-over pomace, the apple debris leftover from the juicing process, to provide an all-natural food source for local farmers’ livestock as well as a compost base for their crops.

    I am looking for advice on ways I could increase the social media and non-social media presence to help advocate for the program, as it benefits so many community members.

    Furthermore, what marketing techniques would you suggest in addition to the use of social media that would reach community members with no social media affiliations? What methods would you suggest that are low-budget and innovative (aside from newspapers and community posters)?

    Thank you for your time and sharing your knowledge with the community! I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Link to my evaluation blog:

    https://mbaker148.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/07/18/Program-Evaluation-Design–Kimberleys-Apple-Capture

    MB

    Reply

  • Laura Wheeler · August 6, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for sharing some tips surrounding improved social media contributions. I was surprised to see this as a topic but found your post to be interesting. I wonder how you see social media and intentional posting to connect with the world of evaluation? How do you feel organizations can more effectively use social media in order to impact the community in which they are involved?

    I find that social media is something that many programs overlook. However, it is a wonderful way to reach those who are beyond the reach of more localized initiatives. I’m interested to see your take on this matter.

    Thank you and I look forward to your response.

    Laura

    Reply

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