January 4, 2021. As the Bureau actively delivers its commitments virtually, the BAFS Facebook page has demonstrated relevant improvement based on the quantifiable metrics. The BAFS Facebook page has been around since November 28, 2014. For the past six (6) years, there was a steady increase in the growth of followers. In fact, the website has 10,863 followers as of December 31, 2019. The page was a stable support for BAFS physical activities and website information.
However, in 2020, as everyone deals with the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau in pursuit of delivering on its commitments explored various methods to reach its stakeholders and stay relevant during the new normal settings. BAFS shifted to digital platforms. With the popularity of Facebook among Filipinos, Facebook was one of Bureau’s most commonly used platform when conducting online activities such as webinars, orientations, photo contests, and virtual quiz contests, among others. Through this platform, consistent engagement with various stakeholders was made possible despite the distance and limited resources.
As a pilot, BAFS Facebook Page analysis was done and presented during the Management Review held on November 24, 2020. The analysis report focused on the following metrics:
- Followers. Unique individual or FB account holder who opted to follow BAFS FB Page and receive timely updates in their timeline
- Reach. Unique individual or FB account holder who saw the post or announcement of BAFS FB Page, regardless of whether they have clicked the relevant link or not.
- Post Engagement. Total number of actions that an FB account holder has taken on BAFS FB page postings that could either be in a form of liking or reacting to post, making comments and sharing the post itself.
Figure 1. BAFS Facebook Page followers from 2018 to 2020
As of December 21, 2020, a total of 20,174 followers was recorded, twice the followers observed at the end of 2019. Majority of the followers (about 17,000) are based in the Philippines. But the page also managed to attract followers from overseas such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, India, Qatar, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Kuwait and Australia. Followers based in the Philippines are from the following cities: Quezon City, Manila, Davao, Iloilo city, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Los Banos, Baguio, San Miguel and San Ildefonso. Whilst not recorded among the followers, BAFS online activities also had participants from distant areas such as Basilan, Jolo and Aparri, where during face-to-face seminars, have difficulty in attending due to logistical issues.
Figure 2. Posted Materials in BAFS FB with highest reach in 2019
Remarkable increase in post reach and engagements were also noted in the FB Page. In 2019, the highest reach was seen in the African Swine Fever audio visual presentation which reached around 67,000 FB users and with 1,700 engagements. In 2020, the highest recorded number was observed in a photo-contest held during the World Food Day celebration entitled “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” which had 273,000 FB users with 15,000 engagements. As with the webinars conducted, Pesticide related standards recorded the highest number of 26,000 FB users.
Figure 3. Posted Materials in BAFS FB with highest reach in 2020
Notably, the use of FB page was a useful tool to connect with stakeholders nationally and internationally. If the data were to be compared with initiatives done physically, restricted by budgetary requirements, time, manpower and logistics, the above data present a wide gap from the usual 50-100 participants of a seminar-orientation. In addition, online sessions done through this platform are automatically recorded making it accessible to anyone visiting the page, anytime.
While the figures presented are quite promising, the page is still a work in progress. As the Bureau commits to continual improvement, BAFS FB page will deliver more and much better results in succeeding years. Its link with the Bureau’s website will be strengthened, its content improved, and the page will be managed effectively to monitor its performance.
As a tool, the platform offers a promising opportunity and would be useful to BAFS in effectively and efficiently engaging with stakeholders.