My engagement in The Food Files.
Today is the big day, the day the last six weeks have been leading up to. It is presentation time and so this morning, I thought it appropriate to analyse my participation in our project.
I have really enjoyed this project, in fact, it has been one of the most enjoyable Integrated Media projects to date. I don’t know if its because it meant I got to speak about food all the time, or if it is because we were using platforms which we understood, but the nature of the assignment was very interesting and entertaining.
As noted in earlier blog posts, my role within the group was marketing manager. This meant that I had to research into other food bloggers, contact them to see if we could contribute their recipes and food images to our page, and if not, if we could do it on their behalf and give them full credit for it. Marketing was not the only role I played however.
In the beginning, I set the goal spreadsheet for the group with a list of all our goals and when we wanted to achieve them by. Throughout the six weeks I was constantly updating this table and watching our progression from week-to-week.
I had about 100 or so of my Facebook friends to “Like” the page. This showed how active I was in trying to get our page noticed. Although we weren’t marked on the number of “Likes” we had, the more we had, the more people would come across our page so we decided that this aspect was relatively important! In this way, I really tried to encourage awareness of our page.
I was co-admin on the Facebook account alongside Taylor. In the beginning, it was just Taylor who managed it, however being the control freak that I am, I wanted to put in some contributions of my own so I jumped on board. We both managed this page very closely always monitoring how many people looked at our page, images, and our contributions each week.
In regards to marketing our page, I was successful in my role in regards to the amount of people I contacted. Although not everyone replied, we did however have approval from The Hungry Australian, Nutrition Darling, Lola Berry and Food with Frank. Each of these contacts were very interested in what we had developed in a mere 6 weeks and were willing to help out. I made sure to follow up all responses, search through their images of food and suggest pictures for them to upload. This was a very time consuming job, but one which was very worthwhile.
The age range was another thing I was very conscious of. Considering a large number of the page followers were friends of mine, we had an age range of 18 to 24 years old. This eventually increased however to 18 to 36. To achieve this, I had to ensure the people I contacted would be of an older age range. For example a lot of the Food Bloggers were older, and some mothers etc began to “Like” our page also.
I researched into statistics about blogging to help us with the right time of day to blog etc. This was also another very time consuming element to my contributions as it took a while for me to come across Jason Keath’s page with all of this useful information.
Once I had shared Keath’s information with the group, I made up a schedule table with each day within the six week course for the page, and placed images that Taylor and I had found into that table. By having a pre-scheduled plan of when we would upload what. This helped with the regularity of the page, and helped to increase the number of engagement. For example, a nice looking ice cream on an extremely hot day meant a greater number of “Likes” on that image. Looking at the weather forecast was also necessary!!!
I organised most meeting times, and prior to these meetings I had written up a list of points to cover throughout that meeting. This way I could ensure all meetings were very productive.
Taking the experience beyond the Facebook page was something we really worked hard to achieve. To do this, I always looked hard to find images with a recipe accompanying them. Otherwise, I if I was to make something uploaded, I would also put the recipe alongside this. It appeared that our followers really liked this idea as they would often interact more with the pictures that had the recipes or source link attached.
I made the Slide Share presentation. This took a great deal of time as I had to find all of the best print-screened images from our social networking pages to embed in our powerpoint.
Some key insights I have personally made though the project are mostly the thorough way in which the Facebook pages run. It is very interesting to analyse all of the statistics each day and to see which days are better than others and why. Particularly after having looked at Jason Keath’s page, I could think about these statistics and data in a deeper and more thoughtful way. I would definitely say that the statistical side of things is something I have really taken away from this assignment. This is where we have combined theory and practice as we used these statistics and implemented them into practice and saw greater results.
This assignment has really made me re think the power of contemporary media practice. Social media in particular is a great way to engage with people from all over the world and it is very easy to do. With only 215 Likes we have reached 8 different countries including Chile, South Africa and the UK. This proves how large our reach was meaning you can only imaging how far pages with over 100,000 Likes can go. Social media is truly a virus which spreads and injects itself into the lives of people everywhere. There is no other way to look at it. The rapid pace with which you can reel people in is almost incomprehensible in the beginning, I know at first I couldn’t believe how quickly our page was growing. Something I found very interesting however was how few people actually click the “Like” button with each image even if they absolute love the photo. This showed when people would come up to me on the weekend and say how much they are absolutely loving The Food Files and how they don’t want it to finish after the presentation. They also mentioned particular images they loved. What is funny however, is that none of these people actually clicked “Like” on the photo, yet they still rave about it. This proves that although people may not appear as active physically with your page, their minds are still taking in your message or what you are posting.
Finally, I couldn’t help but notice how within a minute of posting a photo, almost 70 people had already seen the photo according to Facebook admin data. With people always checking their Facebook page, it makes it much easier to reach out to people.
Upon reflection, I don’t think there is anything else I could have done to participate more to this page. I have truly given it my all. In this way, I have given myself an HD. Although a very high mark, I don’t know what else I could have done without physically doing the entire assignment myself!
As a final note, I hope that the assessors of our assignment actually visit our Facebook page, The Food Files, as it is hard to realise the success and efforts we have gone to through a powerpoint, you need to physically look at the page.