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Grants:Project/Rapid/Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Africa 2019 Contest Communications/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
The original goals for the rapid grant were:

  • 25% increase in likes/follows on social media channels
  • Reshares on 10% or more of the posts]

The aim of this aspect of the project was to drive information and participation through a concentration on the social media elements of the project. The links to social media sites are:

The following report was compiled by Sascha Polkey, the social media expert who was tasked with the project. The project's success was limited due to a few factors that could not be anticipated. The delay in the project grant that secured the winning prize money meant that prize money could not be used as a means of excitement to drive Social media buzz and engagement. Additionally, social media engagement with the big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) are constantly changing. Wiki Loves Africa seems to have been, in part, affected by these changes.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
25% increase in likes/follows on Facebook 9% increase; From 6640 to 7238 The decision on the grant for the Winning prize affected the project’s ability to discuss this. Not offering a money prize in the communications reduced the incentive to enter the project and “share” or tell others about it.
Reshares on 10% of Facebook posts All posts were shared. The highest number of shares for one post was 35 Although we achieved our goal, we feel sharing could have been better with the help of the Wikimedian community spreading the word and - as discussed above - with excitement and incentive of a cash prize.
25% increase in likes/follows for Instagram profile 12,8% increase of followers from 490 to 553 Although there has been an increase in followers, it was not as high as expected. It is possible that our images were better last year. Engagement has dropped off on Instagram generally but this part of the campaign had a disappointing result.
Likes on posts on Instagram Significant likes over the core timeframe of the contest part of the project. All posts had more than 20 likes
25% increase in likes/follows for the Twitter account Only a small increase in followers from 1011 to 1235. This represents only a 3.3% increase. Lower engagement over Twitter now. Less support than last year from other entities/organisations. Biggest retweet ROI was from UNESCO, one post was shared a further 46 times and received 145 likes
Reshares on 10% of Tweets Every post was retweeted which is very positive.


The Social media landscape has changed a lot in the last year and general organic engagement has dropped off significantly as social media platforms look to draw more income from their assets.

As mentioned, a key driver of engagement and growth drop was also the absence of a cash prize incentive. If a cash prize can be secured in future, I would do a lot of social ads with the money as a hook because it clearly is a major driver.

For future years, it would also be wise to include a meatier boosting budget into the mix and to form more real-world allegiances to point to social media for their support. In addition, although some Wikimedia Africa chapters were supportive, more support from these sectors, including tagging other organisations that they think could be interested and further supported would be great. Perhaps having a more comprehensive social media pack with tools for posting and a timeline would be useful in helping volunteers manage this flow into their schedules.

A concurrent marketing campaign with SEO articles and some PR would really boost awareness of this competition significantly.

It should also be noted that it seems ROI on both boosting and organic posting is more forgiving in Africa. Perhaps Facebook is still growing appetite here.

Finally, the theme of PLAY was slightly more difficult to communicate. What we eventually noticed is that images of national games or traditions were very well received by those countries and perhaps we need more of those cultural links to roll out a more ‘clickable’ campaign.


Grant funds spent[edit]

As anticipated, the majority of the funding was spent on compiling the social media campaign. The organisation, Rabbit in a Hat, was tasked with social media management. Rabbit in a Hat managed both the content and the Facebook boosting on their own account. The link to the financial expenses have been sent to the rapid grants administrator.

Total amount transferred from WMF into WIA bank account: R26,926.91

  • Social media management: R16,921.00
  • Facebook boosting (RIAH): R4,926.91
  • Bank charges: R450.00
  • Facebook boosting (WIA): R575.00
  • Leaflets and ISA mugs for prizes: R1,594.86
  • wikilovesafrica.net php upgrade: R1,110.00
  • Web Hosting (Basic): R1,188.00 -R35.64 =

Total: R26,730.13

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?


We are running short of generic leaflets and stickers, and would like to print some more for WikiIndaba and other up-coming Wikimedia related events.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

Community comments[edit]

It looks like twitter engagement was fairly successful. I can not really comment about Instagram because I do not really use it nor understand it. But I would like to make some comments related to the campaign on Facebook. Sorry if it comes out critical, but I prefer that we draw lessons for the future.

  1. Sasha, I do not really understand that argument about not being able to communicate about the monetary prize as explaining low engagement (and fewer new followers than expected). It is true that we had no confirmation of the prizes during the contest itself, so we could not communicate about that at that time. BUT, the explicit goals of the campaign were to increase the number of likes and followers (which in turn facilitate communication about the contest as we can more easily reach out to our followers). And this increase of followers could have been made AFTER the contest was over. The social media campaign could have continued in Spring, and even entered summer. There was no reason for it to nearly stop dead after the contest was closed. On the contrary, you could have communicated after the contest on the prizes, or on the jury activity or other topics. But when I look at the process followed, the largest majority of posts were made during the contest, with a lack of communication after the contest was closed (some of the posts published after the contest were mine). I think the communication could have been more spread as followers can be built on at any time. I think the deliberate choice to act primarily during the contest itself might not have been the best.
  2. Isla, one element missing in the report that could have been mentioned is that the French side of the communication completely fell over after the volunteer who had agreed to help do that basically disappeared during the contest. Which meant rather few posts were made in French, during or after the campaign. Huge potential gap in communication. Africa is not English speaking only, so when we talk to people only in English, we lose. Lesson ? probably give access to several French speaking (and Arabic speaking as well !), and do contingency plans so that we do not stick to English only when a volunteer drop out.
  3. The last point, which I feel very strongly about, is the comment that whilst "some chapters were supportive, more support from them would be useful" and that "this could be solved with a more comprehensive pack with tools for posting". Previous years, I spent time collecting and publishing all the facebook accounts of the chapters and once a week, I went to each of those accounts, to check what they had posted about Wiki Loves Africa, and in many cases, I would share their posts on the WLA facebook page. This year, I said I would not do that as I had no time for it. Sasha, I suggested you, do it, tracking what other groups were posting and sharing their information. You answered that it would blur the message and make things a bit fuzzy and complicated for the readers, so preferred not to do it. I can understand that argument and I must say the timeline of the facebook this year was way more fluid, logical, coordinated and so on. Still, we are primarily a community and a messy one at that. I still think that paying attention to what is being published by the local groups, and sharing it on the main WLA page is the best way we can engage the local communities. Hoping that the local groups will simply share what the central Facebook publish but not doing the same in turn strike me as a very top-down approach. Yes, it may provide a much cleaner approach, and a more professional one for sure. But the fact is... they are the blood of Wiki Loves Africa and they have the real stories about it. So I would like to see that considered in the future. At least rediscussed ? Anthere (talk)
Hello Anthere, thank you for your detailed feedback! Dear Islahaddow, could you please take a moment and address these comments? Thank you, DSaroyan (WMF) (talk) 07:04, 17 March 2020 (UTC)