How two sisters started a Facebook page to become a reliable guide to kid-friendly activities in their community.
Interview by Katrina Carey
Edited By France Pinzon
Mum Angela Stedman was excited when she decided to move back from Brisbane to Bundaberg, the place she grew up, with her husband and their two boys. But when they moved, she couldn’t find anyone or anything that would help them find kid-oriented activities and services, especially being a new family in the area. Together with her sister Gayle, Angela created a Facebook community page that would cater to the kids and parents in the Wide Bay.
In 2012, Wide Bay Kids began gathering helpful sources, information, and businesses for families in the region. “We started out just sharing information with everyone so that others knew what was on and what services were available, and it just grew from there,” says Angela.
To date, the active community has created playgroups and promoted businesses and services available to help all mums, dads, and carers nurture their little ones and toddlers, managing all of this through Social Media.
The Social Media Factor
“Basically our whole organisation has been established by Social Media,” Angela recalls. She believes everything just started with simply launching on Facebook, even back when it wasn’t the norm for businesses or organisations to be marketing themselves.
“We don’t have any formal marketing qualifications, just a whole lot of experience working in advertising and community development roles. I do a lot of reading online,” Anglea admits.
“I follow a lot of people and marketing experts. I’m part of different networking groups on Facebook, which are an amazing source of information.”
Wide Bay Kids started reaching out to other audiences using other Social Media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. “We have not invested as much time into these other platforms, however I’ve starting to read a little bit more about Instagram and will be looking at it more into the future.
- Scheduling Facebook Posts Can Be Mobile
Angela swears by the functionality of the Facebook Page app if you’re an always-moving admin. “I schedule straight from Facebook and I tend to use my mobile a lot or an iPad rather than the PC or laptop. The Pages [manager] app means I can be out and about and post something immediately, giving our page fans real-time updates,” she adds.
More Targeted Audience When Using Facebook Advertising
For Angela, Facebook page owners need to take advantage of Facebook Advertising as it is effective and has the incredible feature of narrowing down a targeted audience to add even more value for money. “There is no point in having a page with huge Facebook likes if those likers are not interested in or engaging with your posts. By advertising on Facebook (through Facebook’s own advertising or via shout-outs on selected larger pages) you can target those who see your advertising which, in my book, is money well spent.”
And when you DO get your business on Facebook…
- Your Page Needs To Have Personality
“It needs to be about them (the fans), not necessarily about the business,” Angela shares. “You can still do that and be faceless. It doesn’t mean you need to have [all your] personal life on the page.”
Engage Your Audience – Run Facebook Competitions, etc.
“I think it definitely engages the audience and makes them feel part of something,” Angela believes. “In the beginning, we ran a lot of competitions and that definitely helped the sharing and the liking. That definitely helped us become known.”
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our website at www.widebaykids.com.au for more information. Photographs by Freckles Photography.
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