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Eltham uses Facebook marketing
“Facebook can provide a huge potential opportunity for CFA. It allows you to target individual localities based on where users say they live” says volunteer Andrew Heath of the Eltham Fire Brigade who has begun a trial of paying for localised targeted messaging on Facebook in an attempt to boost attendance at local FireReady Victoria meetings.
“Here in Eltham we’re dealing with many city-minded people living right on the fringe of a high-risk bushfire environment and we haven’t had much success with attendance at FireReady Victoria meetings the past couple of years,” said Andrew.
With a background in IT and business development, Andrew is well tuned in to the opportunities that Facebook marketing can provide. He has started putting in a little bit of money to directly target invitations to local FireReady Victoria meetings straight into the news feed of people living in Eltham and surrounds.
“It can start with as little as $10 or $20 to really extend our reach well beyond the 700 people who currently ‘like’ the Eltham CFA Facebook page ” says Andrew, who sees it as really important to localise the message to be relevant to the audience. “That’s a lot cheaper than putting an ad in the local paper and it’s hard to know just how many people will see that."
“If there is a hot and windy day in the lead up, we can promote the meeting on that day while people are more responsive to their own fire risk. We can do it quite cheaply and put it in front of exactly who we think might be interested.”
For example, if you think females aged 30-60 with children are the most likely to be interested to attend the FireReady Victoria meeting, that’s exactly who you can put the advert in front of on Facebook. Depending on your budget, you can target as wide or as narrow as you like.
CFA’s Digital Media Manager Martin Anderson is impressed with Eltham’s initiative. While CFA has used paid Facebook advertising at a state level to a small extent to promote initiatives such as career firefighter recruitment, he sees the benefit of brigade pages doing this locally.
“If I live in Eltham and I see a post from Eltham CFA appear, I’m probably going to take an interest because they are talking to me,” said Martin. "Brigades might also use their own local Facebook pages to attempt to recruit local volunteers using targeted messaging or promote other local events."
The next FireReady Victoria meeting in Eltham is on Tuesday December 10.