As we approach our second birthday on 1 September, we've been taking stock of our achievements in the past year and a half. One of our proudest moments was when we successfully helped a client to turn around a Facebook page from a complaints board into a vibrant community.
On 25 July 2012, we took over community management for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore's (SCMS) Facebook Page. Singapore's second largest race, the annual event is organized by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) with title sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). The sheer scale of the event (there were about 53,000 runners in 2012) made balancing runners' expectations, satisfaction and logistics a delicate balancing act.
Due to resource limitations, the Facebook page had degenerated into a message board for complaints as runners vented their unhappiness about issues faced during previous races. Our challenge was to realign the conversation with that of the community's love for running and to build a vibrant community of passionate runners.
We addressed grievances by acknowledging issues raised and providing feedback. We actively researched and posted useful information for runners of all fitness levels and competence. We engaged runners on emotive areas by sharing success stories and heartwarming tales of kindness shown by other runners and strangers.
As an endurance race is as much a battle within the mind as it is a physical challenge for the body, we introduced graphic posters bearing motivational quotes to boost runners' spirits. The posters drove social shares, giving the SCMS Facebook Page more visibility even in the absence of paid media.
We sought input from runners about training tips, dietary ideas and music playlists. We acknowledged contributions, celebrated success stories with featured runners and created a supportive virtual network of runners by encouraging runners to cheer each other on as they strive to cross the next achievement off their checklist.
Immersing ourselves into daily online conversations about running, we developed friendships with some of the runners and ran with them "virtually" everyday on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.
We're so chuffed by the supportive community that we built in under six months without any advertising spend on any social media platforms! It demonstrates that an engagement strategy will be successful if it is founded on genuine community-centric goals.