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Karen was our interim social media specialist just when the COVID-19 crisis emerged. As a team, we adapted our strategies quickly so we could continue to post consistently and show our audience BFHP’s work on the frontline. One thing that stands out is how proactive and creative Karen was in her approach to our social media presence.  Karen was communicative, on schedule, and generous with her time and knowledge.  We enthusiastically hope to work with her again in the future.

 Colleen Kenny, Director of Individual Giving, Berkeley Food and Housing Project

Client: Berkeley Food and Housing Project’s (BFHP) mission is to ease and end homelessness.

Challenge: The COVID-19 crisis required rapid and massive commitment by BFHP to help people shelter-in-place and assist the most vulnerable into moving to hotel rooms. As the interim Social Media Specialist, I believed it was essential to capture their evolving response on the frontline to share with community.

BFHP had recently started posting consistently to social media, and wanted to keep those posts going while their marketing director took a few weeks of leave. Also, their Instagram account was brand new and they wanted to grow their audience there. Their #1 marketing and development goal is staying visible to donors, volunteers, and the broader community, in order to bring in donations.

Approach: When I came onboard in January, we discussed a straightforward content strategy that focused on 3 kinds of posts to educate their followers. The first theme would show interactions between clients and/ or staff in the streets, shelters, community meals, and other events, and underscore how BFHP performs their mission with compassion. The second theme was BFHP efforts to expand services to more people and counties by securing funding and adding more housing. The last theme was homelessness and housing issues statewide. I also set up a tool called Zoho Social, to provide engagement statistics and facilitate posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Results: During this 3 month assignment, we moved from a carefully curated feed to a more on-the-fly approach. Fortunately, we all agreed it was important to get pictures of staff performing their new roles in PPE as well as photos of clients and the sites when appropriate. We also agreed that the most important thing was to keep posting, so we relaxed the focus on themes and just focused on getting and editing content. Additionally, BFHP had a lot of new expenses that weren’t in the budget. So the new posts asked for donations to meet the increased need for food, sanitation and personal hygiene products, and staff time. Additional donations poured in and staff were very pleased with the results.

Instagram audience increased 100%, engagement increased 75%
Facebook engagement increased 20%
Donations increased

Team of 5: Initially, I worked with Calleene Egan (Executive Director), however she soon needed to focus on managing the BFHP response to COVID-19. I then worked with Colleen Kenny (new Director of Individual Giving) and Jasmine Brown (new office manager). When my assignment wrapped up in mid-March, I created a hand-over document. We met for a Zoom meeting and reviewed what I had been doing, and strategies to increase engagements and build followings on Facebook and Instagram. I handed over the accounts to Jessica Dancisak (returning Marketing and Development Director), Colleen and Jasmine.


Marketing Assets:
Three time weekly posts to these platforms:

Set up of Social Media posting and reporting tool:
Zoho Social (similar to Hootsuite)