Freedom's Frontier Heritage Traveler

Freedom’s Frontier Photo Contest: Exploring the Heritage Area in Pictures

As Freedom’s Frontier closes in on our 10-year anniversary, we are exploring the impact of donors on the heritage area in big and little ways. Every donor counts for our current programming and our plans for sustainability.

Our 2015 Photo Contest Winners. Ray County Historical Society's photo of the Ray County Courthouse and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.

Our 2015 Photo Contest Winners. Ray County Historical Society’s photo of the Ray County Courthouse and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.

April and May are exciting months for the Freedom’s Frontier Facebook account. In April and May 2015, we increased our followers on Facebook by over 100 and achieved an organic post reach of 51,308 during the two-week period of April 20 through May 3. While Facebook offers pages the ability to engage in paid advertising to increase post reach and new followers, all of our followers and engagement were the result of a viral campaign, our Freedom’s Frontier Photo Contest.

For the past two years, Freedom’s Frontier has hosted a photo contest on Facebook. The contest is open to anyone who wishes to submit a photo of a historic structure in Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The contest began as a fun way to promote the heritage area and Historic Preservation Month in May. It resulted in a successful social media campaign, as historic site partners encouraged their supporters to visit the Freedom’s Frontier Facebook page to vote for their favorite photo.

The increase in our Facebook page followers means that more people get a daily dose of Freedom’s Frontier in their Facebook feed. In 2014, Facebook had 1.15 billion users with 57% of Americans as part of the social media network. On Facebook, Freedom’s Frontier staff shares interesting tidbits about our history and links to more in-depth stories. Staff also shares posts from our partners about museums, historic sites, programming and events. Every new “like” on our Freedom’s Frontier Facebook page expands our ability to share opportunities for exploring the heritage area.

But what does all this have to do with our donors? Winners of the Photo Contest receive a small cash prize. This encourages submissions and provides a little incentive for spreading the word about the photo contest. Without the support of donors like you, we would not have been able to create this opportunity. In order to help recoup the costs of the contest, we also encourage attendees at events where we exhibit during the month of May to vote for their favorite photo by depositing coins and bills into donation jars. In just our second year of the photo contest, the donations we received covered the cost of the prizes.

While it is exciting that this program is encouraging new donations to Freedom’s Frontier and is becoming self-sustaining, we want to broaden the scope of our photo contest for our 10th anniversary in 2016. We plan to solicit photo submissions in a number of categories, offer more exciting incentives to winners and publish a calendar in 2017 featuring the winners. These calendars will help promote the heritage area, serve as a way to thank supporters, and be available for sale through Freedom’s Frontier and our partner sites. We are very excited about this opportunity to celebrate 10 years of Freedom’s Frontier while building on the viral success of our photo contest. With your continued financial support for this and other projects, we will ensure the success of Freedom’s Frontier for years to come.

The Power of 10

All donations make an impact at Freedom’s Frontier. No matter if your donation is $10 or $10,000, you are helping carry out the work of the heritage area.

$10/day

As Freedom’s Frontier closes in on our 10 year anniversary, we are exploring the impact of donors on the heritage area in big and little ways. Every donor counts for our current programming and our plans for sustainability.

April and May are exciting months for the Freedom’s Frontier Facebook account. In April and May 2015, we increased our followers on Facebook by over 100 and an organic post reach of 51,308 during the two-week period of April 20 through May 3. While Facebook offers pages the ability to engage in paid advertising to increase post reach and new followers, all of our followers and engagement were the result of the viral strength of our Freedom’s Frontier Photo Contest.

For the past two years, Freedom’s Frontier has hosted a photo contest on Facebook. The contest was open to anyone who wishes to submit a photo of a historic structure in Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The contest began as a fun way to promote the heritage area and Historic Preservation Month in May. It resulted in a successful social media campaign, as historic site partners encouraged their supporters to visit the Freedom’s Frontier Facebook page to vote for their favorite photo.

The increase in followers on our Facebook page means that more people get a daily dose of Freedom’s Frontier in their Facebook feed. As of Facebook’s 10th anniversary in 2014, the social media site has 1.15 billion users with 57% of Americans signed up on the social media network. On Facebook, Freedom’s Frontier staff shares interesting tidbits about our history and links to more in-depth stories. Staff also shares posts from our partners about museums, historic sites, programming and events. Every new like on our Freedom’s Frontier Facebook page expands our ability to share opportunities for exploring the heritage area.

But what does all this have to do with our donors? Winners of the Photo Contest receive a small cash prize. This encourages submissions and provides a little incentive for spreading the word about the photo contest. Without support of donors like you, we would not have been able to create this opportunity. In order to recoup the costs of the contest, we also encourage attendees at events where we exhibit during the month of May to vote for their favorite photo by depositing coins and bills into donation jars. In just our second year of the photo contest, the donations we received covered the cost of prizes.

While it is exciting that this program is encouraging new donations to Freedom’s Frontier and is becoming self-sustaining, we want to broaden the scope of our photo contest for our 10th Anniversary in 2016. We plan to solicit photo submissions in a number of categories, offer more exciting incentives to winners and publish a calendar in 2017 featuring the winners. These calendars will help promote the heritage area, serve as a way to thank supporters, and be available for sale through Freedom’s Frontier and our partner sites. We are very excited about this opportunity to celebrate 10 years of Freedom’s Frontier while building on the viral success of our photo contest. With your continued financial support for this and other projects, we will ensure the success of Freedom’s Frontier for years to come.

The Power of 10

No matter if your donation is $10 or $10,000, you are helping to carry out the work of the heritage area. Don’t believe it? Read on…

$10 / day = Daily advertising budget that Facebook estimates will return between 7 and 29 new likes per day.

$100 = Cost of sponsoring one of four category winners for the 2016 Freedom’s Frontier Photo Contest.

$1,000 = Cost of printing 1,500 calendars.

$10,000 = Cost for 10 months of traditional billboard promotion.

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2015 by in Impact Stories.

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