CASE STUDY: Speak Up Broward Facebook Page – Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMPO)

CHALLENGE: The BMPO is responsible for distributing federal funds to partnering agencies and local municipalities for transportation projects. Their decisions are important to the daily lives of almost 2 million residents of Broward County, Florida as well as those who commute through Broward. This is very important stuff–but not very exciting stuff. When we began managing their social media platforms, we faced a few challenges: 1) Educating the audience on what the BMPO is and does, 2) Engaging an audience accustomed to receiving informational content and motivating them to participate in a conversation about projects that might not manifest for several years down the road, 3) a limited advertising budget.

APPROACH: The first goal was to create awareness of the BMPO through social media. The second goal was to increase engagement. Their social media had been branded “Speak Up Broward” in an effort to give a platform for public opinion as well as disseminate information. We wanted to make this platform a real conversation and find a way to make a personal connection between the individuals and the activities of the organization.

We also decided to focus the ad budget on increasing depth of engagement as opposed to growing page likes.

SOLUTION: When we first starting brainstorming for this client, we envisioned an ambassador program which would engage local personalities with a high profile to talk about transportation issues. Because of the limited advertising budget, participation had to be on a volunteer basis. It was difficult to engage recognizable, higher profile Browardians. Participation had to be on a volunteer basis.

The project evolved into highlighting the transportation stories of Broward residents. Each month we found individuals who used various modes of transportation. They each told their commuting/transportation story in 200 – 400 words and shared pictures from their cars, bikes, or bus ride.

As a complement to sharing long-form personal transportation stories, we implemented a weekly #TalkBackTuesday question to prompt the sharing of “micro stories” in the comments section.

In addition to engaging members of the public, we encouraged employees at the BMPO to share photos of their commutes & events in an effort to personalize the organization and connect with community. The long-form posts (200-400 words) were posted on BMPO Employee LinkedIn profiles and then shared on other platforms.

We boosted all #SpeakUpAmbassador & #TalkBackTuesday posts on Facebook as well as giving smaller boosts to the most popular posts each week.



When compared to the previous 6 months, the BMPO Facebook page experienced an increase in the average organic & paid reach. The average organic reach grew from 57 to 358 (a 528% increase), while the average paid reach increased from 291 to 1,499 (a 415% increase). Average Likes Per Post increased by 850% and Comments by 300%. The average shares grew from 0 to 4.

By far, the #SpeakUpAmbassador posts were the most popular in terms of reach, likes and comments. This is in large part due to the relatability of the ambassadors and not shying away from a sometimes critical perspective.

For example, this series allowed the BMPO to give voice to a single mother struggling to balance her work and family requirements while using the Broward County Transit (BCT) bus system. Before she became an ambassador, Tina was commenting about the bus system in the comments of a post. While the BMPO does not regulate the BCT, we took the opportunity to share her experience to illustrate why public involvement in transportation planning is important.

We were also able to tie in these stories with National Bike Month & the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by featuring a Fort Lauderdale resident who commutes to work by bike every day and two Broward residents with physical disabilities who shared positive aspects of their transportation experience and areas that need improvement.

The BMPO Facebook page has started to see a change in the quality of engagement as well. While there are still the expected complaints about transportation, the audience is engaging in conversation and even sharing their own photos in the comments section of our posts. While the number of engaged users has maintained, the number of engagements per user has increased.