Status: Approved

Project Code: OffCycle-22-

Russian Far East Social Media Influencers - Cultural Research and Mapping Project

Project Title Russian Far East Social Media Influencers - Cultural Research and Mapping Project
Project Summary Conduct online research and data analysis to identify potential partners in advertising Consulate events in social media platforms, and identify influential people who can become useful contacts of the Consulate.
Country Russia
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section PAS
Number of Interns 2
Project Description

The goal of this project is to expand the Consulate's followers and contact reach on social media and outside the virtual space through analysis of current followers and identification of new contacts to cultivate. The U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok operates in a challenging social media environment, where the reach of Facebook and Twitter is significantly reduced by the presence of the local Facebook competitor VKontakte, and popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Additionally, the Consulate's Facebook page primarily reaches a Vladivostok audience, and secondarily Khabarovsk, leaving 40-130 followers in each of the major cities in the region (Yakutsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Nakhodka, and Ussuriisk; and zero followers in cities such as Magadan, Anadyr, Artem, and Birobidzhan. In practice, this means that advertising on social media - even when paid for - reaches a very small percentage of the target audience, and the Consulate is constantly struggling to promote attendance at public events such as concerts, film showings, and speaking events; and to promote knowledge of exchange program opportunities. This project could include two interns, whose duties would be divided in the following manner:

Intern 1: Facebook Audience Analysis and Contact Development
a. Analyze accounts of those who have liked our Consulate's posts for the past 6-12 months, developing an Excel spreadsheet with key bio data - name, current city, work, education, other websites if mentioned (ex. Instagram)
b. Search upcoming events on Facebook in Vladivostok and other regions to identify pages and people the Consulate should consider partnering with for events and event promotion

Intern 2: Instagram, Twitter, and VKontakte Contact Development
a. Seek out the accounts of influential people and representatives of key target audiences in the Russian Far East (particularly: journalists, bloggers, cultural centers, university professors and staff, university students, private (English) school teachers/directors, and clubs or other venues that organize musical performances, speakers, film showings, and other cultural events), and follow them from the Consulate's Instagram and Twitter pages
b. Make a list of particularly influential Instagram and VKontakte accounts of people and organizations in the above list, organized geographically.
c. Search online announcement forums to identify other cultural event organizers and make lists of their contact information, social media accounts, and types of events they organize. Vladivostok's site is a good starting point, and searching for upcoming events in Vladivostok and other cities through Facebook is also useful.
d. As time permits, conduct analysis of Consulate followers on VKontakte and identify ways to improve penetration there.

Required Skills or Interests
Cultural diplomacy
Data analysis
Data visualization
Social media management
Additional Information

Depending on the work load, the project could be expanded to more interns. A template for data input has already been started, and will be shared with the intern once identified.