Back in December, the UJC launched a new project, Team SuperJews, to reach out to the 20something demographic. Through a Facebook ColorWars the UJC hoped to begin “building ties to a new generation of Federation supporters and leaders while they are still young.”
Recently, I spoke with Andy Neusner, the UJC’s point man on the project, and Adam Smoylar, UJC’s Senior V.P. of Communications, to discuss how ColorWars turned out. First, the numbers:
- over 1400 participants on Facebook fan pages
- 400 on the TeamSuperJews twitter channel
- over 4,000 visits to the SuperJews.org site
- a few dozen MySpace friends
- several thousand views of the video (produced by Jewish Robot) between YouTube and the federation platforms
As to how many federations participated in the project, Andy told me, “I don’t have a good way to quantify this; I’d say though that while we had some nice involvement, we’d definitely like a lot more, which is something we need to work on for the next event, both by offering federations more opportunities for input at an early juncture in the planning process, and by giving them additional lead time when we reach out to federations about how we’d like them to participate.”
I questioned Adam as to what the federations are doing to follow-up on the social media momentum: “We’ve had calls from federations interested in using this concept as a starting point for other efforts locally. For example, the Louisville federation, wants to have a SuperJews theme to boost volunteerism for their annual campaign.
There are now at least 60 federations on Facebook; as part of this campaign, we built a directory of those groups on Superjews.org, which we need to build up further. And we’re building a SuperJews calendar system where federations will share their youth-relevant event listings both via our SuperJews Facebook presence and web site.”
Various follow-up initiatives are in the works; the JDC surveyed participants on what they’d give funding priority to if they were in charge of the organization; JESNA asked participants to nominate great Jewish educators for recognition and they will be sharing the results with participants.
As to overall thoughts on the use of social media within the system, the UJC thinks the potential is vast including introducing more central blogs that run concurrently across dozens of federation sites (such as Voices from Sderot). There is also value to affinity specific networking platforms for young leadership, national women’s philanthropy and others.
Andy concluded, “We need the involvement and passion of a far wider swathe of North American Jewry than we currently have, and these types of Web-linked community-building efforts are an integral way for us to get there.”
All in all, the project was judged a success and with participants input, the next phase is already moving forward. Clearly, the potential is vast thru Facebook, Twitter and whatever the next big social media innovation will be.