Name: Eloisa Armini
Role: Social Media Co-Manager
Location: Madrid, Spain
Our Social Media Co-Manager Eloisa is originally from Rome, Italy, and her journey to joining us here at Random Acts is quite a special one. She is one of our staffers who first heard about Random Acts many years ago through the Supernatural family and our founder Misha Collins, and she instantly thought it was a fantastic initiative. Always having loved nonprofits and their work, Eloisa says that Random Acts in particular closely matched her own personal vision, as it allows all sorts of people to get involved in making the world a better place and helps them see how every small action counts!
Eloisa really wanted to become a part of Random Acts, but she did not know how, and the fact that she was Italian also made her think it would be harder (“Turns out, I was very wrong!” she says) – however, in 2014, about a year after she first discovered us, Eloisa found a great opportunity to travel to Bogotà, Colombia, through an internship with a youth nonprofit organization. She had the chance to teach an English immersion and world cultures class in a school in the south of the Colombian capital and she credits the experience as life changing – she is still in touch with several of her students today.
“I have so many anecdotes and stories I could tell about those months in Colombia and about the loving and caring people I met there. But at the end I was absolutely sure I wanted to do more for this world. I had discussed many things with the people I met there, and I found out many things about myself, first and foremost that I wanted to help and care for people, and that I really loved working for nonprofits, and because I also believe in the importance of being well organized, having a goal and clear action steps to reach it. So I just tried. I came back home in 2015 and joined another nonprofit organization. Then I saw Random Acts was looking for a Social Media Officer and I remember thinking ‘They probably will not even consider my profile, but my motivation is so strong I should definitely try.’ Well, turns out they did consider me and here we are now!”
Volunteering or working as a teacher in another country is a popular option for those who want to travel and give back to the world. There should be an organization available to you in your local area or accessible via the internet – Eloisa volunteered with AIESEC – but regardless of where you are from or where you go, it is something she absolutely recommends to anyone who feels curious about it.
“It is not only about the working experience – even if it helps, of course. It is also about travelling, meeting different foreign people and cultures, opening your mind and expanding your views. It is about learning. And I have always liked the metaphor of life as a journey. (Big Lord of the Rings fan here!) You meet people, make experiences, see places and change… We never stop changing, and we should give ourselves the ‘right food’ during this journey, feed with adventures and different opinions and views of the world. So yes, I recommend it with my whole heart.
“But I also want to say this: when you travel and work or volunteer somewhere, you should not think you are going there to ‘save people’: you are going there to work together. Also, do not go thinking you will take something for yourself, go there to experience and make an impact. I really believe you take and you give, but I believe it is important to remember it is not really about you. What I did, was trying to focus on the others, not on myself, sharing and learning and changing, and that is what is important in my opinion.
“I remember thinking “what am I doing, this is crazy!” but I would recommend people to just follow your heart or your instinct. If you crave an experience like this, just do it. It will be scary, but if you just stay focused on what is important, everything will work out. Personally, I needed to see how people want to help, want to make a change, want to be more. They were 200 hundred young people from all over the world working on that project with me in the schools of Bogota. All of them had their personal reasons to be there, but all of them had one thing in common: they took the leap.”
Although she has volunteered with various organizations since she was a teenager, the trip to Colombia really did empower Eloisa to dedicate herself to the nonprofit field – she now works professionally for a School of Management that trains managers in the nonprofit sector, as well as volunteering with two other organizations – including Random Acts of course! When she returned from her travels, she found a new confidence and decided to pursue a role here like she had always wanted to.
“My motivation was stronger. Strong enough to face my fears! I remember thinking what is the worst it could happen? If I do not try, I will never know. Plus, my roommate from Colombia (one of my roommates, as I had 10 – coming from all over the world) really wanted me to try, knowing how much I cared about it. Her name is Diddi, she is from India – her and Ana from Portugal really wanted me to do it, they were so happy when I told them I was part of the team!”
When Eloisa joined Random Acts as a Social Media Officer in 2014, her job description read “Responsible for maintaining the organization’s presence and reputation in the Social Media world,” which she said at the time felt like a big statement and very scary! She was hired together with Julie [Merar, her Social Media Co-Manager] so they trod this whole path together and since then, both Random Acts as an organization and the world’s level of engagement with social media have really changed and grown.
Eloisa and Julie now lead a larger social media team to take care of all of Random Acts’ needs, and they are the people most often in direct contact with our supporters! Random Acts supporters tend to directly contact the team on social media and ask for information, make suggestions, learn more details, and this is where she feels the most passionate about her role.
“Being the voice of an organization I firmly believe in is key for me, it is about my personal work ethics. I feel like I want to be this voice, I want to be in contact with our amazing followers and kindness heroes, I want to help everybody see how many beautiful things they can do, just by being kind.
“And that is what makes Random Acts so special to me, the way we always try to enable people to do something. If there is a crisis, we will suggest a way to help and if there is an event, we will suggest a way to get involved. That is one of the core things about good humanitarian aid and cooperation, you know? It is about enabling change. Development in general needs to be sustainable. I am not giving you a piece of bread and then going away. I am giving you seeds to make your cultivation grow and training you on how to make it work once I am not there anymore. Random Acts does the same with people, all over the world.”
Because of this ethos, the work that Random Acts does on Social is crucial in order to make sure people know what we can offer to help cultivate kindness. Julie and Eloisa are responsible for the strategy and planning goals of social media, for brand awareness and voice, for the rest of the team, for content management and posting and for covering social media virtually at all times. It gets fun (and hard) for all the team when there is a big event like Endure4Kindness, and there is a need to create very detailed schedules to make sure someone is always covering the account in real time. Social Media is able to cover a lot of time zones together, thanks to Random Acts’ international staff.
The diversity of our worldwide volunteers is one that Eloisa believes is an all-around pro when it comes to social media – a far cry from her initial fear that being from Italy would make her involvement in an American-based organization less practical!
“An international team means we are there for every region. And yes, it makes it harder to find a good time to meet and chat together for our team (I will forever remember having to wake up at 3 am to make sure we could chat), but it is worth it. We are all dedicating our time and heart to the cause and we love doing it, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The social team is incredible, Tash, Emy and Alisha are adding a lot to our social media strategy and execution. Each of them is invaluable and has shown their creativity and quality. Our social media has really stepped up since they joined the team.”
Eloisa is very excited that Random Acts now has regional social media channels for people to follow, where they can speak their own language and connect with other people close to them – maybe even organizing kindness acts together in their local areas. As an Italian living in Spain and as someone who studied Language and Translation at university, Eloisa loves to see tweets in foreign languages talking about Random Acts or about kindness – it makes her feel that we are getting closer and closer to our mission!
“I am very proud of Random Acts for being so inclusive – as a European, I can say that so many times I see very cool things that I would love to be involved in but cannot because it is just too hard for a non-American. Instead, Random Acts is absolutely open and ready to help – a shout out to all the Regional Representatives!”
Day to day, aside from communicating with followers, the life of a Social Media Manager involves keeping an eye on what’s happening in the world and on all the trends on each platform and how they differ. While the Social team does all work together, they do have assigned officers responsible for each platform.
Coordination and communication with other departments is essential, so they are always in contact with departments like Events, Graphics and Writing for example in order to plan out the news and campaigns that Random Acts circulates on Social Media. One of the team goals is always, of course, to reach even more people, and Eloisa hints that supporters will probably see us more present on other platforms and in new ways soon.
In terms of what has grown in the past five years, Eloisa views Random Acts social media as much more present today, both in the number of platforms and the general involvement. Her team tries to answer all of our followers’ questions and give them all the information they need. They are also responsible for being true to Random Acts’ voice, trying to make sure people feel welcomed and know how much we want to help! She also notices the source of our supporter audience shifting from not only Supernatural to people from other fandoms or no fandom at all. Random Acts is literally for everyone everywhere – so many different people from different places. After all, it is in our mission – conquering the world.
“Social Media is not this new thing anymore and everybody knows how to use it. The feedback we receive the most now is “seeing what you do gives me hope”. It’s incredible and motivating, but the best part is that it is not just Random Acts doing things and giving hope, it is the supporters and kindness heroes from all over the world! Seeing what supporters do is always such a joy!”
But one of the challenges that Eloisa has noticed when it comes to looking after social media for Random Acts is the occasional reluctance from our supporters to post about their acts of kindness online for fear of it looking like it has been done from a place of ego – that “showing it off” takes away from the validity or authenticity of the act itself. She wants to make it very clear to all of our followers that this is not the case and that we are proud of each and every one of you. Also, in this sense, sharing really is caring – because sharing what you have done can help make others aware of our organization and mission, and inspire them in terms of what they too could do.
“We have had people saying ‘I do it, but I do not share it because I do not want it to look like I am bragging.’ NO! Just share it! You are giving people ideas and you are helping Random Acts reach even more people! You are impacting even more just by sharing your kindness on your social media channels! You are awesome and you should show it to the world! Even the small acts of kindness!
“So do your acts and involve more people, because it is not about being humble, it is about empowering other people too – those people who think they can’t do anything because they can’t think of anything that they are good at. But I will forever remember that while there were people saying they couldn’t run for E4K others starting crocheting and one even played the kazoo for hours, and let me tell you, kazoo girl was extremely motivational for a lot of people and raised a lot of money too!
“And if nobody else will see it, us on Random Acts social media will, and rest assured, we will be happy about it!”