In 2016 and 2017 we supported Kent ISD in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as they embarked on their Strong Schools, Strong Communities enhanced-millage ballot initiative. This unique and challenging ballot initiative was a well-researched and executed multi-pronged campaign that included 20 member school districts that support over 100,000 students. The victorious campaign, a 54%-46% margin, resulted in $250 million in additional funding for students in the West Michigan area.
We worked with Kent ISD, using their research, to develop a strategy to employ Facebook to help provide necessary social media support to the large-scale campaign. This strategy extended the reach of local district social media pages, the School News Network social media presence and Kent ISD social media to the demographic groups most likely to support the millage and to create an environment where messaging and content was “spread” through the assistance of Facebook users in these communities.
We first grew the social media followings of the districts that had Facebook pages, the Kent ISD and the School News Network social media pages through boosted Facebook posts and Facebook ads. By growing the reach of these pages, the audiences were now larger and could be more effective during the campaign-phase leading up to the May 2, 2017, election. During the campaign phase, we created targeted Facebook campaigns using content created by Kent ISD to promote an atmosphere of support for the issue.
Our social media strategy focused on content “buckets”, developed from key messages from research. These targeted messaged helped drive each and every social media post, boosted post and Facebook ad.
The results of these efforts can be seen in the below graphic.