Earlier this month, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention held its third annual summit on August 6-7th. The event drew a variety of participants, including government and non-profit leaders, as well as parents, researchers and students engaged in anti-bullying work. Since the Summit in Washington, DC, wasn’t open to everyone, we felt it was important to bring the event to homes, offices, and community centers across the country via our website and social media channels. So for the first time, we did a livestream of the two-day summit, and promoted it extensively through Twitter and Facebook.
During the summit, we introduced several new initiatives that were launched on the StopBullying.gov website over the past months, including a rev-vamped kids section, a blog, and community training materials. We extensively used our Twitter handle and Facebook page to promote what was happening at the Summit and to drive people to our website.
In order to highlight the summit and the new materials, we created a hashtag for the event (#BullyingSummit) and created campaign URLs for some of these specific initiatives. We saw great results in our efforts on Twitter, including 1,143 new followers and 724 retweets between August 5th and 9th. Our campaign tagged URLs drew 819 visits to the site, a large portion of which went straight to our livestream. We actively engaged our Twitter and Facebook audiences by taking their questions for the panel through #BullyingSummit and tweeting throughout the summit.
Despite this increase in traffic to the site, one lesson learned is that while regular tweeting was embraced by the virtual audience, careful consideration should be taken into being more selective in the frequency and content of Facebook posts. Even though the increase in the number of Facebook “unlikes” was small, it is something to consider when developing a social media plan for any type of event.
Overall, our social media efforts have kept traffic high on our site. The increase we saw in visitors to StopBullying.gov during the Summit week has maintained into the following week with only a slight drop in site traffic. It is our hope that this momentum will continue as we continue to use social media as a driving force in our outreach efforts.