Minihan’s to Mizen Fun Cycle
21 April 2018 – Community Charity Event in aid of Aughadown Community Council which I am the chairperson and Brú Columbanus Brú Columbanus an independent charity that provides “home from home” accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in any of the Cork Hospitals and the Hospice.
We held a meeting in early March to set an organising committee and develop a plan for the 2018 charity cycle. We had five members on this committee and each person took responsibility for a different area of the event, myself taking PR and marketing. We decided to use short fun videos to promote and raise awareness of the cycle. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were our choose platforms. We had in the past sent letters to local businesses asking for sponsorship but felt that this being the third year of the event it was too much to ask the business owners to support us again, instead, we decided to increase the entry fees. We hoped if the weather was kind we could increase participation and so offset the loss from sponsorship.
In 2017 we had 161 cyclists taking part raising €8,132.25 this included €2,270 from corporate sponsorship. Total costs including insurance and a large cost for printed safety signs which we can reuse were €1,895.76 so this left us with €6,236.49 funds raised for distribution.
Our plan was to try and increase the number of cyclists to 200 as there would be hardly any extra costs involved and no extra help stewarding would be required for this number.
A Visual Map of the Marketing Plan
Summary of Activities
The weather was great which is all important for an outdoor event and we increased our number of cyclists taking part to 174, not as many as we had hoped for but another charity cycle in Clonakilty clashed with our event and so we lost some numbers as a result. However, overall we were very pleased with the results as we raised €7,267 with fewer costs than 2017 of €530 so total raised for distribution was €6,737. This was a great result when you consider we didn’t receive any corporate sponsorship.
Our marketing campaign worked really well, with Facebook page likes increasing from 511 to 566 and 2,285 minutes of video viewed during the months of March and April 2018. Our most viewed video ‘Snow Excuse’ had 3,600 views, with 28 likes, 4 comments and 12 shares, not bad for a couple of fellas cycling into snowmen. Considering the change to the Facebook algorithm in January in 2018 which is widely believed to have reduced the organic reach of pages I feel we did well even it the reach was down from that of 2017.
Overall on Facebook, we achieved 2.3K minutes of video views with 8.7K 3-second video views compared to 4.8K minutes viewed in 2017 and 12.5K 3-second video views.
Link to video ‘Snow Excuse” video on Facebook
Our Tweets earned 13.5K impressions during the month of April which was down on the previous year by 8.4K impressions. We didn’t post as often as we had in 2017 and lost some traffic as a result. I’m not a confidant on Twitter as I am on Facebook and certainly this is something I need to work on.
We made a solid start on Instagram with 16 posts and going from 0 to 56 followers. This platform is one to build on for the future as it has become very popular in Ireland over the past year or so. It is owned and integrated with Facebook so is excellent for advertising to a younger audience using the power of Facebook Business Manager.
I put my hand up to help and I wanted to do my best, but time is a problem, with family and a busy work life I found it difficult to make time to create new content for the cycle and I feel I left the committee down a little as a result. I wish I had more free time.
It’s getting more difficult to reach your audience on social media, especially on Facebook since the algorithm changes. Last year any video I posted on M2M Fun Cycle page seemed to get a good number of views whereas this year unless you have very good production and or a very funny video I found it very difficult to get any meaningful reach. With people turning off from ads across all platforms and organic reach diminishing I will need to improve the content or find other ways to reach our target audience, maybe the old printed flyer will make a return?