Social Media and the Princeton Music Boosters
The Princeton Music Boosters (PMB) was established in 1961 by a small group of staff & parents whose goal was to enhance the music experience in the Princeton City School District. PMB helps to bridge the gap between the needs of an outstanding music program and what the district can provide through it’s budget. We are extremely proud of the work we do and the impact we have on Princeton Music. Every opportunity we get to share our work and especially the talents of our amazing students we take advantage of. We have made a concerted effort to organize, plan and coordinate our posts on both Facebook & Twitter. PMB now has a large presence on both Facebook and Twitter and we have realized noticeable gains because of it.
Princeton Music Boosters uses Twitter and Facebook to keep in contact with our current parents & students as well as alumni and supporters of Princeton’s music program. Princeton is the most racially diverse school district in the state of Ohio, with 70% of its student population on free or reduced lunch programs. With both platforms being free to the public, PMB is able to stay in contact with the parents & guardians of our student musicians, no matter their socioeconomic background. Many of our alumni live out of the area and therefore cannot attend concerts, but they can still see that their legacy and Princeton’s long tradition of music excellence is thriving.
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
Most of our social media posts are pre-planned based on the schedule of events for the school year (athletic schedules, concert schedules, play/theater schedules, etc). However many special events and activities are added or changed as they arise. Princeton Music Boosters (PMB) has a three-layered system that ensures our posts are consistent, timely and effective. PMB has booster members that are charged with the lion-share of social media posting. The music staff can also add posts to our various sites as they know of many of our events prior to our membership learning of them. In addition, we utilize a social media app to schedule most of the daily posts. The software is easily edited and can ensure that our posts get out no matter how busy the editors become.
Sponsors/charities/volunteers/ other groups involved in the project and the benefits to each.
Princeton Music Boosters (PMB) is operated entirely by volunteers and therefore all our social media posts are created and posted by volunteers. Typically a single person from PMB is tasked with over seeing our social media and is charged with making sure that PMB posts something at least once per school day. All of the PMB executive officers are able to post, which ensures redundancy so as to not skip any important information. An additional layer of protection is that all of the music staff can post on our pages as well. PMB encompasses all aspect of music at Princeton (Marching & Symphonic Bands, Jazz, Orchestra, Choir & Theater). Having three layers of coverage ensures that none of our sub groups gets more or less attention than another and that the Princeton community is consistently getting timely information.
The impact that our social media presence has can been seen a in few different areas within Princeton Music Boosters. First, we have had a steady increase in membership. Since we have started this project two years ago, our membership has increased 30%! With the increase in membership, it’s become easier for us to fill volunteer positions as we have a larger pool of members to choose from. Secondly, we have been able to raise more money for our (award winning) scholarship program and subsequently we are able to award more scholarships. We have steadily but cautiously increased the number of scholarships over the past two years.
Specific Budget Breakdown
The beauty of this project is that there is no monetary expenditure whatsoever! Our Facebook & Twitter pages are free as is the social media app that we utilize. The app does offer more services for a fee, however we choose to save the funds and to put them towards other needed items such as our (award winning) private lesson scholarships, uniforms, music, enhancements to our auditorium and items for plays.
New or recurring project?Recurring
How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?
We have noticed that keeping things fresh and updated works best. Like it or not, our society is fast paced now, so while we don’t inundate our subscribers with posts, we do make sure to post daily and with a good mix of historical information, humorous posts and current events. Our membership changes slightly every year, so having new ideas will help keep our social media pages fresh and relevant.
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
Thankfully, we have seen very few issues or obstacles. Our biggest “growing pain” was managing the posts so as to not have duplicate information posted in the same day as well as making sure to get at least one post made daily. We kept the ability to post on our social media pages limited from the beginning, which was very helpful. As with most organizations, the flux in membership always brings new ideas and this helped to get our posts more organized, informative, more light-hearted and even interactive at times. Since then, we have added the use of an app, which schedules our posts so that we ensure our information is scheduled and never forgotten.
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
We have seen measurable differences in three areas; Views & Likes, Membership and how many times we‚Äôre tagged in posts. In the past, clips from concerts were seen by a moderate viewership. However we recently posted our promotional video and within hours it had 5,000 views! In less than 72 hours we were close to 10,00 views. Had we done this even last year, we don’t feel it would’ve gotten the same, overwhelming response. In the two years that we have been concentrating our social media efforts, we have seen a 30% increase in membership. This has increased our effectiveness in most all areas that we cover. Furthermore, PMB has become one of the most heavily tagged groups within the district, at times even beating out athletics! Our reach is more extensive and therefore more effective even when the topic is not related to music.
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?
We figure that most booster organizations are already using social media. Our advice would be to organize it’s use, plan the posts and create a multi-layered redundancy plan. Make sure your posts are relevant to all of your followers and don’t leave out any aspect of your program. The posts should be fresh and consistent while still reflecting your mission and goals. Princeton Music Boosters has a long and proud heritage, which is something we remind our followers of frequently. Social media, when done properly isn’t a full time position necessarily, but does require someone to be in charge of it and to ensure posts are made according to the agreed upon timeline. Most of all, have fun with it and use this tool to your advantage!