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Administrative Staff Reports

April 30, 2020

Overview

Communications efforts in the month of April continued to focus on communicating information about COVID-19 volunteer opportunities, promoting and helping users of Maine Ready, keeping National Service programs and members abreast of the rapid and on-going changes caused by the pandemic, 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.

A page has been created to archive stories/profiles on individuals and programs who are responding by volunteering, including those related to National Service initiatives. Access the page here.

As we get deeper into May, the goal remains to return focus to ongoing projects -- such as the new website, rebrand print material/signage updates, style guide, and AmeriCorps recruitment efforts.

AmeriCorps recruitment: This month, planning began for a virtual AmeriCorps recruitment fair to be held at the end of May. Outreach and communication activities will begin at the beginning of the month. A full report will be provided in the May report.

In an effort to constantly improve reporting, please see the following attachment which visualizes the data utilized below. This page serves as an accessible version of the same information presented visually. Access the visual report here.

Please note: All metrics are compared to the previous month.

Media Coverage

At the end of March, Volunteer Maine Executive Director Maryalice Crofton was a featured guest on an episode of Maine Public’s Maine Calling, which focused on ways to help and volunteer during the COVID-19 outbreak. Maine Calling has statewide reach, which makes this a valuable media appearance. This piece of coverage was inadvertently omitted from the March report. Please access the following link to hear a replay of the episode – click here.

On April 30, a media release was distributed to inform the public about the extended nomination window for Adult and Youth Maine Volunteer Rolls of Honor. Information on media coverage will be included in the May report.

MaineServiceCommission.Gov Website

This month, there were drops in traffic and in overall search activity as we continue to juggle two Volunteer Maine websites. However, one encouraging stat to look at in terms of the rebrand is that the search term “volunteer maine” yielded a 126% increase in impressions compared to March. The new website project will receive increased attention in May, pending any unexpected developments surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

Traffic

  • Views: 4,144 (-8%)
  • Unique views: 3,672% (-9.6%)
  • Bounce rate: 69.35% (8.4% increase) (please note: for bounce rate, decrease is positive and increase is negative)

Search results

  • Clicks to site: 316 (-7.1%)
  • Impressions: 22.8k (-11.1%)

Frequent search terms (by impressions)

  • “senior companion” 1,418 (-36.1%)
  • “americorps” 682 (+26.3%)
  • “patriots day 2020 maine” 340 (+385.7%)
  • “community service” 297 (-48.1%)
  • “eastern area agency on aging” 286 (-32.1%)
  • “volunteer maine” 267 (+126.3%)

Device breakdown

  • Desktop: 81.74%  (+1.78%)
  • Mobile: 16.18% (-1.23%)
  • Tablet: 2.08% (-0.55%)

VolunteerMaine.Org Website

On the .Org side of the web world, there was a noticeable decrease in traffic figures from last month. One thing that should be kept in mind: The .Org website is not a responsive website, meaning it is not mobile friendly and subject to usability issues. This is one of the large reasons behind the new website unification project. It is interesting, however, that search results figures are drastically up from last month.

Traffic

  • Views: 2,628 (-20.5%)
  • Unique views: 2,090 (-21.6%)
  • Bounce rate: 69.44 (4.2% increase)

Search results

  • Clicks to site: 112 (+40%)
  • Impressions: 4.8k (+41.7%)

Frequent search terms (by impressions)

  • “Volunteer screening“ 143 (+8.3%)
  • “Event email“ 136 (-5.6%)
  • “Earth day cleanup“ 122 (+139.2%)
  • “Certified volunteer administrator“ 74 (+19.4 %)
  • “Volunteer screening process“ 61 (+19.6%)
  • “Competencies for managers“ 59 (+1.7%)
  • “Skill based volunteering“ 53 (+120.8%)

Device breakdown

  • Desktop: 67.62% (+4.85%)
  • Mobile: 29.37% (-3.7%)
  • Tablet: 3.01% (+1.16%)

Social media engagement

Overview: In terms of growth, April was big month, due in part to continued planning /frequency in content and a shift in focus to sharing COVID-19 volunteer and National Service response stories and essential volunteer opportunities. Engagement and reach figures are, for the most part, up across all platforms. Reporting on YouTube and Instagram has been included this month.

Facebook (Volunteer Maine)

  • New fans: 28 (+115.4%)
  • Post likes: 263 (+345.8%)
  • Post comments: 8 (+166.7%)
  • Post shares: 122 (+838.5%)
  • Video views: 821 (+151%)
  • Engagement rate: 6% (+27%)
  • Total page reach: 18,345 (+372.9%)

Facebook (Maine AmeriCorps Alumni)

  • New fans: 8 (+33.3%)
  • Post likes: 42 (+500%)
  • Post comments: 2 (-86%)
  • Post shares: 23 (+21.1%)
  • Engagement rate: 7% (+3.7%)
  • Total page reach: 4,553 (+190.7%)

Twitter

  • New followers: 6 (-1)
  • Retweets: 63 (+36)
  • Likes: 117 (+31)
  • Replies: 19 (+16)
  • Link clicks: 81 (+46)
  • Engagement rate: 1.6% (+0.6%)

LinkedIn

  • New followers: 1 (+/- 0)
  • Likes: 6 (+3)
  • Comments: 0 (+/-0)
  • Shares: 4 (+2)

Instagram

  • Total followers: 131
  • Impressions: 5,154 (+632.1%)
  • Reach: 3,608 (+687.8%)
  • Post likes: 66 (-10.8%)
  • Video views: 20
  • Comments: 0

(please note: some comparisons not available as this is the first report on Instagram)

YouTube

  • Views: 50 (-31.5%)
  • minutes watched: 140 (-17.2%)
  • Average viewer duration: 168 seconds (+20.9%)

Facebook advertising reach and engagement (utilizing both the Volunteer Maine page and the Alumni page)

  • Campaigns: 5
  • Topics:
    • Maine Ready awareness
    • AmeriCorps alumni volunteer recruitment (x2)
    • AmeriCorps NCCC member volunteer recruitment (x2)
  • Total spend: $120
  • Reach: 9,454
  • Total engagements: 605
  • Comments: 3
  • Shares: 64
  • Clicks: 837
  • Cost/per click: $0.80
  • Frequency: 1.81

Email marketing

Our open rate remains at 5% higher than the average. There was a 2% improvement in click-through rate, as users were more compelled to act this month. One campaign of note is this month’s Volunteer Fare newsletter, which generated an open rate of 29% (11% higher than the average) and a click-through of 7%. This is noteworthy because the newsletter included information on the Maine Ready platform, professional development opportunities, and feature stories on volunteer responders.

Overall

  • Open rate: 23% (+/-0%)
  • Click-through: 63 (+4)
  • Click-through rate: 5% (+2%)

Campaign: Volunteer Fare March/April Newsletter

  • Open rate: 29%
  • Click-through: 43
  • Click-through rate: 7%

Campaign: Public Notice – April Commission meeting

  • Open rate: 19%
  • Click-through: 2
  • Click-through rate: 6%

Campaign: April 2020 AmeriCorps RFP reminder

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

Campaign: AmeriCorps Alumni Call for Volunteers

  • Open rate: 24%
  • Click-through: 7
  • Click-through rate: 14%

Addendum: May 5, 2020

Information about participation in a Twitter chat, organized by America's Service Commission (ASC), designed to bring nationwide awareness during National Volunteer Week to the Volunteer Generation Fund was originally omitted. Participation in the hour-long April 21 Twitter chat resulted in 2,726 impressions and 73 total engagements (likes and retweets), including repeated amplification via retweet by ASC.

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.