The East Falls Historical Society is an organization based locally in the charming East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia. Those who belong to the EFHS are dedicated to preserving the past of their neighborhood for future generations. In doing so, they keep a collection of archives, educate people on the town’s history, host history tours and guest speakers, contribute to the local newspaper, and advocate for the preservation of historical sites. Their goal is to make history relevant, personal, and exciting to modern East Falls Residents.
The question that helped to guide our research and work with our community partner was, how can we build a presence on Facebook that elicits engagement? This could be in the form of more likes on the page and posts, higher attendance rates at events, and educating on the history of East Falls, from the community. We wanted to increase the level of community interaction on the East Falls Facebook page. The challenge presented was with the analyzation of the audience and the page itself. With the page’s mature demographic, there was a need to research how to effectively connect with them.
Creating content for East Falls Historical Society established the opportunity to categorize social media by topics of relevance. While creating posts, we aimed to capture an aesthetic that mirrored their brand and website. The curated Facebook posts consisted of event reminders, ‘then and now’ features, and other informative spotlights that our audience could appreciate. By separating each post by topic, we incorporated the importance of East Falls history with the current events happening in the area. The goal was to continue to maintain the brand and aesthetic that represented the classic feel that the EFHS embodies.
The results of this project proved to be successful. When first presented with the East Fall Historical Society Facebook profile, there were only 33 people who liked their page, which gained no interaction. Before our first post, their most liked post achieved 4 likes, and they had never received comments. After our first post on February 11th, the page jumped to 55 likes. The most liked post consisted of 15 likes and 3 comments. After tracking this engagement, we planned a weekly schedule with two posts a week. As the weeks passed, more likes on posts and the page become consistent and some interaction with other Facebook users occurred. These small victories represented progress.
At the end of the semester, East Falls Historical Society’s Facebook page boasts 63 likes. This is almost double of what stood in the past. Not only did engagement with Facebook users boost, but the page now illustrates a distinct aesthetic, which sets EFHS apart from other local organizations. Emphasis was placed on remaining a historical society, but also moving in a more modern direction. The East Falls Historical Society now has nowhere to go but up!