By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Bashaw Star
Community groups and non-profit organizations wishing to up their social media game and potentially win some cash have the opportunity to do so thanks to a new competition being put on by Community Futures East Parkland.
The challenge will run for the month of February, with a registration deadline of Feb. 1, and there will be $9200 worth of cash prizes available. For the competition, organizations will be asked to leverage their social media accounts to increase their reach into their communities.
“(The non-profits and community groups) are having challenges with fundraising and engaging with their community,” said Community Futures economic development officer Kate Gislason, who is running the competition.
“A lot of them are shut down, or they’ve altered how they are operating. (This is) a way for us to reconnect with them and the communities as well.”
Organizations in the competition will be competing for weekly prizes as well as the grand prizes. Each week, winners will be determined using a formula to determine the most improved and most influential social media users, with four awards being handed out. Most improved and most influential first place winners according to the formula will each win $250, while second place in each category will win $150.
All competitors will also be competing for the grand prizes. Most influential organization will receive $2,500, most improved will win $1,500, and most dynamic account will win $1,000. Additionally, a fourth grand prize worth $1,000 will be offered to the winner of the fan favourite account, to be determined through an online poll.
As an aid to organizations wishing to participate in the competition, a social media calendar is part of the application package, giving groups ideas of what to post, and when, to build followers.
Examples of the activities recommended include, for day one, “sharing with your followers” that you are participating in the challenge, or for day five, share a post detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your organization.
“(The groups) will have to reach out to their networks, and to the people in their community, to be successful,” said Gislason.
So far, between 20 and 30 groups have registered, though Gislason is aiming for 40-plus.
A social media challenge was run by Community Futures East Parkland in the spring of 2020 for small businesses, which was won by Bashaw Farm & Building Supplies Ltd.
Community Futures East Parkland covers the area from the west of Rimbey to east of Castor, and from north of Wetaskiwin to south of Big Valley.