Full Service Social Media Marketing

Tessa-May Marr

July 16, 2020


It was April 2020, and COVID had hit everyone HARD. Personally and professionally, the world was reeling from a sudden and scary new reality. Our clients, e=mc2 events, were of course feeling this, being in the event management industry. We were in close contact with them to ensure we were readjusting their social strategy to reflect their current needs. But on one call that month, they wanted to talk about something different. They wanted to talk about the idea for a drive thru graduation in Calgary that would ensure the Class of 2020 did NOT miss their moment. And they knew they had the right tools, capabilities and a network of willing partners to pull it off.

They invited Marr Media Group to join their task force and handle the social media.

We said, hell yes.


We quickly put together a strategy that aimed to accomplish a number of different things:

  • We needed to make some noise and get the news of this event out to parents and grads AND QUICK. Schools, parents and grads themselves were already frantically trying to come up with a consolation grad of some kind - some on video, others postponed to next year. We knew we had a better idea… and we needed to make sure they knew in time to participate in it.
  • We needed to explain how it was all going to happen, and answer a TON of questions along the way. Not only was this something people just had not seen before, so were struggling to visualize, but there was added stress with a multitude of new health and safety considerations due to COVID-19. Thanks to videos, images and our team being ultra responsive on social media, we were able to do that.
  • We wanted to engage the media to help us get the word out and promote our partners who were standing up to make this happen for grads.
  • Ultimately, we needed to drive registrations to cover the costs of this event.

We knew that to get the best possible results, implementing a paid strategy would be ideal. That said, everyone was showing up with time and a major change in revenue projections, so no one had the cash to offer up front. So we went with an entirely organic strategy, hoping that the news and excitement and media support would take us to where we needed to go. This was risky, but in this scenario, with the constraints we were facing, it was our best option.


So how did it go? Did we all pull it off?

You bet we did.

Between June 15-27, over 1000 graduates from over 30 different schools showed up, in cap and gown, suits and dresses, and crossed that stage. There were photo booths, speeches, cheering and honking. Grads and their families smiled and cried inside their vehicles (or outside their sunroofs) as they went, one by one, a safe distance apart, up the stairs to realize and commemorate the 13 years of work that brought them to this milestone.

“We could not have done this without Marr. Period. The timeline and pace of this project meant each partner was trusted fully to do their piece. Tessa was extremely responsive and proactive with our social, her knowledge and experience and sensitive communication style built, developed and maintained a great rapport with our audience!” - Keri Miller, Partner & Chief Creative Strategist at e=mc events

It was incredibly emotional.

We had a ton of questions come in, leading up to the event, during the events and afterwards and our team was tuned into social media to support every step of the way.

We shared important dates, crucial information, registration deadlines and more leading up to the event, keeping our audience informed. We shared professional photo highlights and behind the scenes video from each day throughout the event, as well as engaging with all the grads and parents that were sharing their own photo and video content with the hashtag #DriveThruGrad2020YYC. And we wrapped it all up by cataloguing the video footage on our client’s Youtube page and ensuring the links were shared on other networks so grads and their families could look back and relive the moments for years to come.

There were so many tears shed during the past few months, watching it all come together, reading the heartfelt thank you’s from parents. We were lucky enough to be “on the front lines” - digitally speaking - to see it all.


Let’s break it down, platform by platform, shall we?


This platform was our primary focus and was used to connect with parents primarily, as well as to house photo libraries.

  • Built an audience of 714 followers.
  • Over 100k people have seen our page or content (reach).
  • 19,030 people engaged with our page and content.
  • We posted 117 times total.
  • The majority of our audience is from Calgary and 80% are female.
  • Our average engagement rate was 12.33% (benchmark for a strong engagement rate is 1-3%).
  • Three posts had over 40% engagement rate, with the highest being this post on May 12th at an engagement rate of 68% (I have never seen numbers like this in my entire career!).
  • A testimonial from a grateful parent we posted drove 108 reactions and 22 comments echoing these sentiments.


This platform was used to connect with students as well as to share behind-the-scenes content during the event through Stories.

  • We built an audience of 364 followers.
  • Over 100k people have seen our page or content (reach).
  • We posted 117 times total.
  • Surprisingly, 32% of our audience here was aged 45-54 (parents) while 21% was likely grads.
  • Our average engagement rate was 12.33% (benchmark for a strong engagement rate is 1-3%).
  • Our top performing post reached over 1100 people, was shared 162 times and got 95 engagements. This post also got 80 likes!
  • Our stories reached an average of about 180 people.
  • Our feed showcased a sponsor logos, stock imagery, video and then finally a mix of candid moments from the event itself.


This platform was used sparingly to engage with the media primarily, as well as retweet mentions.

  • We tweeted 45 times total.
  • We created an audience of 64 followers.
  • We earned a total of 72.8K impressions overall.
  • We saw a total of 118 retweets and 277 likes with an overall engagement rate of 2.4% (benchmark of a strong rate here is anything over 0.1%).
  • We were mentioned 76 times.
  • Our top performing tweet reached over 13k people alone and saw 1,872 media views.
  • The tweet mentioning Nenshi received a total of 86 engagements; it was retweeted 12 times.


This platform was used only to house video content, and content will remain active indefinitely as live stream videos are uploaded here and distributed to parents/grads.

  • We uploaded 24 videos in total.
  • Our summary video received 327 views.
  • Our live stream video links have now been distributed via social media platforms and to over 2,544 people via email.

Tune in and watch them all here. (Grab some Kleenex!)

“Rallying parents and graduates during a pandemic required a special style of communication. With everyone online more than ever before, Social was the best and only way to reach grads and parents and let them know this was happening! And it worked” said Miller.

This is what using social media for good looks like. And beyond that, using each of our skills for good. This all started when some dedicated and creative event professionals decided to put their surprise free time to great use, and brought us all along to do the same. It just goes to show, one person, one organization, one idea can make a huge impact.

We are so incredibly lucky to have clients that inspire us to set up and #MakeShitHappen.

Thank you Keri Miller, Gary Davies and the entire group at e=mc2 events for being a prime example of how to do good in the world at a time when we need it more than ever before.

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