We’re proud of our longstanding relationship with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS). And even prouder to help promote their mission to provide assistance to everyone living in the state through research and outreach. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our task was to get the word out. And that’s exactly what we did.

Helpful Messaging Addressing Many COVID-Related Situations

Whether it’s offering general info regarding COVID-19, providing useful tips on limiting the spread, keeping food safe, overcoming anxiety, maintaining good nutrition or learning how to deal with the economic impact, UF/IFAS has solutions.

Activating an All Points Bulletin on Facebook

UF/IFAS has extension offices in all 67 counties in Florida. With every extension office in the state having a presence on Facebook, as well as several other divisions and colleges that fall under the UF/IFAS umbrella, the opportunity was there to reach a lot of people. We connected a total of 119 pages on Facebook to create a large megaphone that allowed us to communicate emergency assistance messaging to all those who have liked our pages. Of course, we wanted to go even farther to help as many Floridians as possible.

A Three Pronged Approach to Providing COVID-19 Assistance

We launched a campaign during the early stages of the pandemic running from April 14 through May 31, and used three separate tactics to get the job done: organic posts, paid ads and a page likes campaign.

Organic Posts: a Cost Effective Form of Communication

With millions of people staying at home, there was a major increase in online presence. We published organic posts to all of UF/IFAS’s 119 Facebook pages, urging users to visit their COVID-19 Updates & Resources page. Because these were unpromoted posts, the cost to our client was very minimal.

Paid Ads: Honing the Message to Specific Audiences

Facebook business pages began to see a decline in organic reach back in 2014, so to ensure we were reaching all of the users who had liked any of UF/IFAS’s pages, we also targeted them with paid ads. As a result, over 564,000 users saw a UF/IFAS COVID ad coming from their local extension page — providing reliable information and resources to Floridians in a time of confusion and crisis.

Page Likes: Getting More Likes Gets More Results

And in this case, getting results equals more help addressing the problems caused by COVID-19. We implemented a page likes paid strategy, which resulted in earning a year’s worth of likes for the main UF IFAS Solutions page in just 43 days, and ultimately, led to 18,255 more people receiving UF/IFAS posts in their newsfeeds. That allowed our organic posts to reach even more users. And since our paid ads were also targeting users who had liked UF/IFAS Facebook pages, it increased their reach as well. It was a case of one strategy fueling another, fueling another. A circular effect that yielded some impressive results.

Measuring the Campaign’s Success

Keeping people safe, limiting the spread and offering assistance to deal with many aspects of the pandemic was the ultimate goal. We’re pleased to report the campaign performed admirably with 2.5 million impressions, engagement rates that far exceeded the standard non-profit percentages and a page likes campaign that resulted in an overall 18.7% growth in followers across UF/IFAS pages.

Developing Social Strategies to Help Our Clients

In addition to UF/IFAS, Frankel has successfully partnered with several clients to achieve objectives using social and digital media. If you have any questions about implementing these tools, just drop us a line, we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.