Summative Evaluation of Otter 501 Facebook Page

August 16th, 2013 | EVALUATION

In August 2011, nine months prior to the theatrical premiere of Otter 501, Sea Studios Foundation launched the Otter 501 Facebook page in an effort to reach and engage audiences through social media. Initially, Sea Studios organized for Katie Pofahl, the film’s human star and narrator, to author posts and respond to visitor comments about the forthcoming film and related topics. Subsequently, with the theatrical premiere of Otter 501 in May 2012, viewers of the film then had an opportunity to watch the character Katie post updates and respond to comments on her “virtual” Facebook page. Concurrently, during the film’s premiere and thereafter, Katie Pofahl, and on occasion other Sea Studios staff, continued managing the online Otter 501 Facebook page for another year, in this case providing periodic updates on the status of Otter 501, posting content on other otter and film-related topics and events, and responding to comments and questions. Sea Studios authored its final posts in April and May 2013, announcing the birth of Otter 501’s pup and Katie’s departure to a new adventure, respectively. Sea Studios expected that the project’s paired use of Facebook, within the film and online, would open the door to unique opportunities to engage the audience before, during, and after the film and thus drive the engine across the film screen to audience participation by direct interaction in social media. To help the Otter 501 project team better understand visitors’ interactions with the Otter 501 Facebook page, the independent evaluation team from Knight Williams Inc. collaborated with Sea Studios Foundation to conduct an evaluation that spanned the two year period during which the account was active. The team’s approach involved two separate activities: (i) summarizing the available audience and engagement metrics for the Facebook page, and (ii) conducting a content analysis of the posts placed on the page from the project’s inception in August 2011 until the final post provided by the project team in May 2013. The findings from this work are presented in two parts: Part 1: Overview of Otter 501 Facebook audience and engagement metrics: This section summarizes the available online audience and engagement metrics for the Otter 501 Facebook page provided by Insights, Facebook’s analytic service, to provide an overview of visitor activity during the two years that the Facebook page was actively maintained. Part 2: Exploratory content analysis of posts to the Otter 501 Facebook page: This section summarizes the findings from an exploratory content analysis of the posts presented on the Otter 501 Facebook page over the two year period the Facebook account was maintained, looking both at those authored by Sea Studios Foundation, as well as those by visitors to the page. For additional context, this section also highlights relevant findings from a 2012-13 evaluation of the Otter 501 film, relating to the extent to which viewers visited the Facebook page prior to seeing the film, and the extent to which they felt motivated to visit the Facebook page after viewing.



Team Members

Sea Studios Foundation, Contact
Valerie Knight-Williams, Evaluator, Knight Williams, Inc.
Divan Williams, Evaluator, Knigh Williams, Inc.
Gabe Simmons, Evaluator, Knight Williams, Inc.


Funding Source: NSF
Award Number: 0714704

Related URLs

Strange Days On Planet Earth Initiative Phase Two


Audience: Evaluators | General Public
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Life science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Summative
Environment Type: Films and IMAX | Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media