Los Angeles Mission – Social media engagement

Los Angeles Mission social media achieves an all time, ever captured and reported, performance high during Thanksgiving 2015—a 422% increase YoY

The challenge

As part of Russ Reid’s ongoing strategic social media work with Los Angeles Mission that aims to continually create a distinct social brand and clearly demonstrate the Mission’s values online, we look to each of the Mission’s four annual events as opportunities to, in real-time, showcase the life-transforming work of the Mission through the power of social media. Our social media performance during these annual events is indicative of how strong or weak our daily social media strategy is. Los Angeles Mission’s highly anticipated event of the year is the #SkidRowThanksgiving street event and meal held annually the day before Thanksgiving.

#SkidRowThanksgiving 2014 social media achievements include:

  • 3,643 total social media engagements[1]
  • 1,604 engagements on 36 Facebook posts by the Mission
  • 91 mentions, RT’s and likes on 39 tweets by @theLAmission
  • 1,948 engagements on 33 Instagrams by @theLAmission

[1] Total social media engagements directly on Los Angeles Mission posts on November 26, 2014 (does not include engagements with retweeted or shared posts, does not include engagements on mentions)

Russ Reid solution

Building from successful social media strategy based on seasonal reporting and key learnings from the seven most recent Mission street events, Russ Reid deployed an event strategy for Los Angeles Mission’s #SkidRowThanksgiving meal leveraging the ‘day of’ event experience online. The strategy has two key objectives:

  1. Position the Mission as the event host revealing preparations and behind the scenes looks into all and who that is involved: Hourly posts with event hashtag;
  2. Tell the story of the event through the experience of event guests, friends and neighbors of the Mission’s on Skid Row.

Key to the strategy is a well-rounded view of the event in posts (street, kitchen, event stations, at the tables, etc.) with a particular focus on sharing first-person accounts and testimonials from personally interacting with guests. Russ Reid to act as sole social media producer and publisher.


The one day street event #SkidRowThanksgiving 2015 achieved 10,784 total social media engagements gained by Los Angeles Mission posts alone—a 422% increase from the 2014 Thanksgiving event making it the most successful social media event for the Mission to date. LAM - SM - case study

  • 6,384 engagements on 36 Facebook posts by the Mission—notably a 398% increase in engagement on the same number of posts as 2014
  • 1,016 mentions, RT’s and likes on 69 tweets by @theLAmission—an average of 14.72 engagements per tweet (compared to 2014’s 2.33 engagements per tweet)
  • 3,384 engagements on 51 Instagrams by @theLAmission—an average of 66.35 engagements per post (compared to 2014’s 59 engagements per post)

The immense contribution of #SkidRowThanksgiving 2015’s social media numbers—and with the month’s already great performance—resulted in November as an all time, ever captured and reported high in social media of the following: Performance and exposure on Facebook by impressions and reach, highest ever new Page Likes and Twitter followers gained in a single month, as well as engagement highs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

These results are credited to: 1) An improved event strategy YoY as learnings have been gained about the right messages and posts for the audience, and 2) Investment in a strategic and focused social media effort all year round that aims to acquire, engage and truly understand its audience with the ultimate objective to deliver messages that are appealing, attractive, and actionable.

To build on this success, Russ Reid is considering expansion opportunities for Los Angeles Mission’s social media event coverage including pre-event celebrity engagement. As well, this event and others in 2015 will be evaluated with Russ Reid’s 2016 proposed strategic direction for the Mission.

To learn how Russ Reid can help your Food Bank grow beyond, please contact Andrew Olsen (CFRE, Vice President).