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Administrative Staff Reports

March 31, 2020

Overview

Communications efforts in the month of March, much like all aspects of life, were interrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The focus of our efforts, for the foreseeable future, will now focus on communicating information about volunteer opportunities, keeping National Service programs and members abreast of the rapid and on-going changes caused by the outbreak, recruiting skilled volunteers to fill specialized roles within the formal response effort, and producing/sharing stories that focus on the people and programs behind the formal emergency response effort.

Volunteer Maine staff also played a large role in the launch of MaineReady.Org, an official State of Maine resource that provides state, county, and other emergency response and management organizations a virtual way to coordinate offers of help with on-the-ground needs for assistance. Communications-related duties included producing and publishing webpages on COVID-19 volunteer resources, disaster basics and an overview of the Maine Ready platform. The promotion of Maine Ready via traditional and digital media – as well as through a new radio public service announcement -- will be an ongoing theme during the month of April.

As we work through April and into May, the goal is to return focus to ongoing projects -- such as the new website, rebrand print material/signage updates, style guide, and AmeriCorps recruitment efforts. One ongoing project that has been completed is the 2018-19 Volunteer Maine annual report. Physical copies have been ordered and will be distributed to members of the State Legislature in April.

Media Coverage

As mentioned in last month’s report, a press release was distributed to the media on 2020 Maine Youth and Adult Volunteer Roll of Honor nominations. The Republican Journal in Belfast as well as the Bangor Daily News published information. It is also worth noting that we began distributing press releases using Constant Contact, which allows us to gauge which outlets are most interested in covering a story. Please see below for links to coverage as well as press release engagement numbers. A new press release will be distributed at the end of April to inform the public of an extended deadline for nominations.

Links – Volunteer Rolls of Honor nominations

Republican Journal --- access here
Bangor Daily News --- access here
Press release on Volunteer Maine business website --- access here

Press release email statistics

  • Emails received: 38
  • Open rate: 31.6%
  • Click-through rate: 8.3%

MaineServiceCommission.Gov Website

This month, there was an improvement in both unique website viewers and bounce rate. Search impressions are down from the previous month by roughly 3,400 and actual clicks to the site via Google search were down by 2 from January. "AmeriCorps Maine" was the most utilized search term by visitors from Google for the fourth month in a row. Once more, Maine Commission for Community Service outranked Volunteer Maine in search results. It is becoming increasingly evident that operating two websites is hurting search engine visibility. There is optimism that these figures will improve once the new, unified website is launched.

Search results:

  • Clicks to site: 340 (-2)
  • Impressions: 25.6k (-3.4k)

Frequent search terms:

  • "americorps maine" 33 clicks (-28)
  • "maine commission for community service" 21 clicks (-6)
  • "maine americorps" 6 clicks (-2)
  • “foster grandparents maine” 4 clicks
  • “maine conservation corps” 2 clicks
  • "volunteer maine" 2 clicks (+/- 0)

Device breakdown:

  • Desktop: 80% (+4.86 %)
  • Mobile: 17.4% (-5.6%)
  • Tablet: 2.6% (+0.74%)

VolunteerMaine.Org Website

Traffic:

  • Views: 3,307
  • Unique views: 2,665
  • Bounce rate: 66.67%

Search results:

  • Clicks to site: 80
  • Impressions: 3.4k

Sarch terms:

  • "the eight essential steps to conflict resolution pdf” 2 clicks
  • “volunteer administration certification” 1 click
  • “volunteer reminder email” 1 click
  • “volunteerism ppt” 1 click
  • “Dudley weeks conflict resolution” 1 click
  • “volunteer ppt” 1 click
  • “what is volunteerism ppt” 1 click
  • “volunteer work presentation” 1 click

Device breakdown:

  • Desktop: 62.8%
  • Mobile: 33.1%
  • Tablet: 4.2%

Social media engagement

Overview: The statistics in this category speak to organic posting, or posts that were not infused with advertising dollars. In terms of growth, the numbers are more encouraging this month due to planning and frequency. March was a strong month for Twitter engagement, as Volunteer Maine tweets were shared by national-level accounts -- such as AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps Alums, ASC (America’s Service Commissions), and Voices for National Service – as well as by AmeriCorps Director Chester Spellman and Senior Corps Director Deborah Cox-Roush.

Facebook (Volunteer Maine):

  • New fans: 8 (-19)
  • Post likes: 107 (+15)
  • Post comments: 5 (-5)
  • Post shares: 13 (-15)
  • Video views: 327 (+105)
  • Link clicks: 159 (+27)
  • Page reach: Average of 125 people per/post (-13)

Facebook (Maine AmeriCorps Alumni):

  • New fans: 6 (+6)
  • Post likes: 33 (+32)
  • Post comments: 15 (+15)
  • Post shares: 22 (+22)
  • Video views: N/A
  • Link clicks: 91 (+87)
  • Page reach: Average of 50 people per/post (+45)

Twitter:

  • New followers: 7 (+/- 0)
  • Retweets: 27 (+27)
  • Likes: 86 (+24)
  • Replies: 3 (+/- 0)
  • Link clicks: 35 (+13)
  • Engagement rate: 1.0% (+0.1%)

LinkedIn:

  • New followers: 1 (+/- 0)
  • Likes: 3 (-6)
  • Comments: 0
  • Shares: 2 (-1)

Email marketing

Our open rate is 5% higher than the industry average and increased 5% from last month, while the click through rate dropped 6% overall to 3%. What this tells us is people are compelled to open our emails, but some call-to-action tweaking may be needed.

Overall: 

  • Open rate: 23% (+5%)
  • Click-through: 59 (-11)
  • Click-through rate: 3% (-6%)

Campaign: March 2020 AmeriCorps RFP announcement

  • Open rate: 26.4%
  • Click-through: 28
  • Click-through rate: 4.7%

Campaign: Volunteer Maine COVID-19 updates and changes

  • Open rate: 23%
  • Click-through: 3
  • Click-through rate: 0.5%

Campaign: March 2020 AC Bidders Conference Change

  • Open rate: 17.7%
  • Click-through: 5
  • Click-through rate: 1.1%

Campaign: AmeriCorps Alumni COVID-19 Response in Maine Call for Volunteers

  • Open rate: 29%
  • Click-through: 11
  • Click-through rate: 18.3%

Campaign: AmeriCorps Alumni Red Cross Call for Volunteers

  • Open rate: 28.1%
  • Click-through: 7
  • Click-through rate: 11.9%

Glossary of terms:

  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. This helps us determine how many engaged/interested visitors visit the site in a given period.
  • Clicks to site/link clicks: The physical action of clicking a link. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our messaging and ability to create calls to action.
  • Click-through number: The number of unique individuals who clicked a link inside of an email. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our calls to action.
  • Click-through rate: This is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. This helps us measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns. For 2020, the average open rate is 2.6%, according to digital marketing platform Campaign Monitor.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): CPC refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. This helps us measure ROI on advertising, gain a better understanding of our target audiences, and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Engagement rate: A metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. This helps us determine how many individuals interact with the content, and gain a better understanding of our target audiences. Industry standards state the following: (courtesy of Scrunch.com)
    • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
    • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
    • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
    • Above 6% = very high engagement rate
  • Frequent search terms: The most utilized search terms that individuals use on Google to access the website. This gives us a better idea of how people get to our website and what topics matter most to them.
  • Impressions: When an advertisement or any other form of digital media appears on a user's screen. This is not an action-based statistic, but gives us an idea of how many users potentially saw the piece of content. This metric helps us track brand awareness efforts.
  • New fans/followers: The number of new individuals that choose to follow a social media profile, such as Facebook and Twitter. This helps us measure brand awareness and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Open rate: This is an indication of how many people "view" or "open" the email. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our messaging and email content. For 2020, the average open rate is 17.8%, according to Campaign Monitor.
  • Reach: The total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a given piece of content or webpage during a given period. Much like impression, this is a number that informs us how many people have been exposed to the piece of content. This metric helps us track brand awareness efforts and the effectiveness of our content.
  • Post comments/replies: The number of individuals who take action by commenting or replying on a piece of content. This helps us measure the strength of our content and get a better idea of the number of followers who are engaged/interested in our message.
  • Post likes: The number of individuals who take action by liking or reacting to a post. This helps us measure the strength of our content and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Post shares/retweets: The number of individuals who take action by sharing a post with their personal network. This helps us measure the strength of our content and get a better idea of the number of followers who are engaged/interested in our message.
  • Unique views: How many different people visited a given webpage. Slightly different than views, this helps us track the number of individual users (or sessions) that visited the website/webpage in a given period.
  • Video views: The number of individuals who viewed one of our videos. When talking about Facebook, the statistic is based on three-second views, which gives us an idea of how successful we are at capturing a user's attention. This stat also helps us measure the strength of the video both from a production and messaging standpoint.
  • Views: How many times a given webpage has been visited. This helps us track the effectiveness of our search visibility and the impact of our content.