One of my main goals going into this internship was to give Easter Seals West Georgia a presence on social media. This was a very slow process because I had to convince the directors that it would be worth their while and I also had to teach them how to operate the sites. Before we could start to build our presence on Facebook, we had to make sure that parents and caregivers were aware of our interest in possibly posting pictures, testimonies, and videos of their participant on the internet. To ensure that we received the appropriate consent, I was able to assist the directors in writing a release form to make it clear what our intentions would be. Once the directors and families were on board with becoming more active on social media, Facebook in particular, we had a meeting to discuss goals and expectations for this venture. To start off, we decided to make it a goal to post at least once a week. This might sound funny to those of you who update your social media sites multiple times a day, but this was a big commitment for Easter Seals. They were worried that they would forget to update the site and when my internship was over, that they would not know how to continue to update.
With all of the upcoming fundraising events, it became very easy to find something to post on Facebook. I have been able to share the promotional videos for the Walk With Me event, create event pages for all of the fundraisers, post pictures of the playhouses, and update everyone on the details for each event. I have been encouraging all of our friends to share every post about an upcoming event with all of their friends and we have seen an increase in the interest for these events. Social media has really proven to be a useful tool. I already knew how helpful it could be for Easter Seals and now the directors know, too!
One aspect we are currently working on is building their friends list so that more people will hear about what is going on at Easter Seals. We have asked all of the board members to send us a friend request and are now asking all of the families who have a Facebook account to find us. Eventually, Facebook will be the best place to find updates on the center and we want everyone who is touched by the work that Easter Seals is doing to stay up to date on what’s happening.
So, what will happen when my internship is over? Well, I have started to prepare for that. I am creating a step-by-step “How To” presentation so that the directors will have a place to go if they forget how to update a status or comment on a post or share a video. I have also started a file of possible topics to post on social media sites. Some of those possible topics include monthly stories of families that Easter Seals has touched, facts about different disabilities, updates on small victories that happen daily, and other related topics. The directors and I have decided that our overall goal is to keep Easter Seals on the minds of the members in our community and social media seems to be the best way to do that. We want to symbolically “open our doors to the community,” not everyone will get the opportunity to actually visit the facility, but hopefully through Facebook they will get a picture of how wonderful Easter Seals is and what we are doing to serve the local community. Please visit our Facebook page to see what’s going on, a lot of events are coming up soon and you don’t want to miss any of them! Thanks for reading!