I am currently using social media to market a free online conference for midwives on the 5th May called the Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM). But with the plethora of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts out there, I am wondering how to stand out amongst the crowd.
Leading the social media charge
This is the third year I have been managing this event. The first year I had a very poor response. Last year I started to use Facebook and Twitter. There were very few midwifery organisations using Twitter or Facebook so I was very pleased when my "VIDM 2010" Facebook page reached 2,500 followers and the event had at least a 1000% increase in attendance. The only midwifery organisation that had more followers than us was the midwifery journal "Midwifery Today" with 10, 000 followers.
Increase in midwives' use of Facebook
This year I started a Facebook page that was more generic to our event - "Virtual International Day of the Midwife". I have not attached a date to the page so that we can continue to use it year after year. What I have noticed is that the number of followers has been very slow to get going - at the moment we have 539 "likes". The other thing that has become evident is that there are many more midwives and midwifery organisations using Facebook. Midwifery Today is currently standing at 25,000 "likes".
Standing out in the crowd
So I am wondering how I can make the VIDM voice heard above very famous organisations such as the International Confederation of Midwives, UK Nursing and Midwifery Council, or even the spoof Facebook pages The Midwife and The Student Midwife.
Is Facebook a waste of time?
Or is Ashley Morgan correct when he says that "Facebook is overcrowded and is fast becoming the new myspace. A total and utter waste of everyone's time"? And that the best way to stand out in Facebook is not to have an account there?
Would love to hear what you think. Has Facebook lost it's effectiveness as a marketing tool, or is having a Facebook page still a vital part of an organisation's communication strategy?
Image: 'yellow umbrella'