Being Rela’s Social Media Intern

This photo was taken while I was volunteering at one of Relā’s events (Leadership Prayer Breakfast 2017) the fall before I began my STEP project for them.

 

My STEP Project involved managing a local Columbus nonprofit’s social media, specifically their Facebook page. My main duties included researching and creating images related to servant leadership, scheduling monthly posts, and recording the analytics from the Facebook page. I also created posts to market larger events my nonprofit hosted. The image above is from an event I volunteered at before I began my STEP project with Relā in order to understand what they did. Not to give away too much about my fantastic experience with them, but I am helping them market the 2018 Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

I initially began working with Relā through my involvement in the Nonprofit Immersion Program (NPIP) at The Ohio State University. NPIP allows students to become non-voting members of a local Columbus nonprofit to understand the inner workings of nonprofits, and then create their own hands-on experience that is in-line with the nonprofit’s mission and goals, and addresses an organizational need. For example, through my involvement with Relā, my contact and I realized there was a severe lack of consistent social media marketing for the organization.

I was excited to begin marketing for Relā as I love their philosophy of utilizing servant leadership to positively impact their workplace, and create a better world. After much deliberation with my contact, we decided I would post to the Relā’s Facebook page 3-5 times a week depending on other events they needed to market for as well. In total, this would have been researching and creating approximately 12-20 images per month to post to the page. I vastly underestimated the amount of time this would take me per month. I naively assumed I would only need 3-5 hours a month to work for Relā. In reality, I needed 5-10 hours per month to work on Relā’s social media posts. Overall, this experience showed me how to have even better time management skills, a better understanding of all the factors going into social media marketing, and an appreciation for leveraging social media to market for an organization.

My relationship with my contact, Liz Cooper, at Relā was fantastic. Liz and I had an open and regular stream of communication via email. I knew exactly what Liz expected of me, when she needed it, and why it was important. Before I officially began my work for Relā, I had been under the impression I would only need a few hours a month at most to complete my work for them. However, I quickly learned this was not the case as I began researching servant leadership quotes and articles to post.

I spent an average of 5-10 hours total per month to research, create (if applicable), and post to Relā’s Facebook page. While this may not seem like a lot of time spread out over the whole month, I naturally tend to stay active on campus and busy in general, so carving out time for this extra responsibility was a challenge. The first month or two I ended up procrastinating until the last week of the month to send the media posts to Liz as I thought it wouldn’t take me as long as it did.

By procrastinating my research for Relā, I ended up being extremely stressed trying to find time between my coursework and other activities to complete my tasks, and still give Liz an ample amount of time to give me the go-ahead to post. As a result, I realized I needed to prioritize my social media research for Relā for the future, and manage my time even better than I was previously. I blocked out time in my calendar to work on research, and this allowed me to send Liz the posts well in advance of needing to schedule them on Facebook. By buckling down and doing this, I was able to have fun with researching and looking up servant leadership quotes, pictures, and articles!

This experience was beyond valuable to me! I never realized the influence of social media marketing, nor did I think about how much I would actually enjoy it. Social media marketing became a hobby, and a skill I’ve learned from my project. I had such a good time, that I extended my project not once, but twice! I was planning on being Relā’s social media intern for a few months over the summer, but then I extended it to August, and again to now. To this day, I still am Relā’s social media intern, and enjoy it immensely!

One thought on “Being Rela’s Social Media Intern

  1. Hi Shivani,

    Thanks for the post. I can tell you learned some valuable skills through your volunteer experience. I would have loved to hear more about the analytics you did for the organization. Did your marketing plan boost their overall attendance or presence online? What kind of feedback did you receive from the organization? Overall, it looks like you had a positive experience.

    Best of luck,

    Shannon

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