In the Fall of 2015 I participated in a four month effort to strengthen the social media presence of Mercy Brown Bag Program, a non-profit in Oakland, CA that provides food to low-income seniors.

The effort involved managing their Facebook page and seeing if I could build an audience. My focus in developing social media content was to establish a consistent brand that reflected their devoted, “in the trenches,” self-sacrificing efforts. I did this by establishing a consistent look in the content I created. This included using the same filter for all on-location photographs and telling the stories of their many long-time volunteers. Each week I would sponsor a post highlighting a volunteer. Their black & white photo framed by brown paper would be accompanied by a caption in their own words of “why they volunteer.” In addition, I would regularly post photos from various locations in Alameda County of their work in action.

After four months, their Facebook followers doubled and their reach expanded as people engaged with the content — sharing it and leaving uplifting comments. People appreciated their work and many wanted to help out in some way. More importantly, however, it served to generate excitement among employees and volunteers, as they received recognition from the community. Additionally, the brand helped to unify the program and establish a clear identity.

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