Social Media in the Social Ecology
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Poster presentation for the 2009 National Conference on Health Communication Marketing and Media, not meant to be a slideshow exactly, but useful maybe to social media strategists.

Poster presentation for the 2009 National Conference on Health Communication Marketing and Media, not meant to be a slideshow exactly, but useful maybe to social media strategists.

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Social Media in the Social Ecology Presentation Transcript

  • 1. social media in the social ecology a conceptual framework for behavior change online poster presentation for the cdc national conference on health communication marketing and media authors: chris koch & kathleen souder, baynan communications august 12, 2009 3569 new town lake drive | st charles, mo | ph: 636.328.0221 | tw: @baynancom
  • 2. 1. the social ecological approach we are all shaped by our contexts. The Social Ecological Approach argues that individuals exist in a nested hierarchy of social, cultural and environmental relationships – that their attitudes and behaviors are the result of the complex interplay of factors on every level. Since the late 1970’s this approach has provided the basis for effective public health interventions1. Now, as audiences increasingly interact in social or relational behavior online, a social ecological perspective can provide a valuable conceptual framework for leveraging virtual contexts to promote positive change in real-world behavior. affecting your audience means informing its social ecology. The Social Ecological Model provides a structural expression for the hierarchical levels identified by the Social Ecological Approach, dividing the Social Ecology into four levels – Individual, Relationship, Community and Society2. Affecting real, sustained behavior change through a Social Ecological approach requires that individuals encounter reinforcement at every level of their ecology. In order to provide this reinforcement, social marketing campaigns must be crafted and placed in a way that con- siders the specific contexts influencing target audiences at each level. Public health practitioners have found this model to be particularly useful, observing this approach is “more likely to sustain prevention efforts over time than any single intervention.”3 1 Linda Dalhberg & Etienne Krug, Violence: A Global Public Health Problem 2 Urie Bronfenbrenner, Ecological Systems Theory 3 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention; www.cdc.gov/ncipc
  • 3. 2. social media for social marketing it’s a new way of doing an old thing. The digital tools, platforms and actions we call Social Media were designed not as commercial tools, but to satisfy an intrinsic human need to connect and converse: to ask questions and get trustworthy answers, to seek out and share valuable content, and to create and contribute to communities that share one’s values. Effective Social Media creates, facilitates and maximizes human conversation around meaningful messages and converts the audience into energetic, authentic broadcasters. there’s no such thing as a digital audience. The use of Social Media by diverse audiences – regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status – is increasingly widespread and deeply ingrained1. The increased popularity of social media activities require public health and communications professionals to consider them as a crucial social context which must be entered. As there are many observable correlations between online and offline personas2 – indeed, the opt- in, highly personal nature of social media requires dissolving the lines between one’s personal and digital lives – the extension of a social ecological approach into this new space is a natural and useful one. 1 Universal McCann Comparative Study on Social Media Trends, April 2008 2 Sam Goslin, “e-Perceptions,”s American Journal of Psychology, 2006
  • 4. 3. mapping social media to the social ecological model like the social ecology, social media is made up of people, not places. Because the landscape of specific social media platforms and tools is expanding and evolving at a staggering pace, transposing a social ecological approach onto this landscape requires an understanding of the intrinsic behaviors, utilities, and activities that underlie these platforms. A social ecological approach to social media must be rooted in an understanding of not only where an audience exists, but also how and why it exists where it does. the levels of social media ecology: individual In the traditional model of social ecology, this level describes and seeks to identify the biological and personal history factors that an individual brings to his or her behavior1. The natural transparency of many social me- dia activities provides unprecedented access to demographic, personal, attitudinal, and even behavioral infor- mation about targeting individuals. Interventions at this level communicate with audiences one-on-one; to be effective, messengers must be aware of how their audiences use social media tools and activities for personal broadcast and information curation. 1 Linda Dalhberg & Etienne Krug, Violence: A Global Public Health Problem
  • 5. relationship This level contains the proximal social relationships – for instance, with peers, intimate partners or family members – that influence an individual1. Interventions in social media at this level should identify and influence the interpersonal exposures and communications that exist at the core of an individual’s social networking, feed sharing or micro-messaging activities. community The third social ecological level examines the community contexts that surround and inform social relationships2. In the social media landscape these contexts are created by an individual’s elected participation in extra-person- al communities – including membership in groups, participation in topical forums or the contribution of media content (e.g. photo or video sharing) and content-related conversation. society The fourth and final level of the ecological model examines the larger societal factors that influence individuals – including governments, cultural norms, education, and mass media3. Social media interventions at this level should focus on an individual’s access to and participation in concentrated informational nodes like wikis, institutional social networking pages, social search and social news platforms. 1-3 Linda Dalhberg & Etienne Krug, Violence: A Global Public Health Problem
  • 6. social media in the social ecology a conceptual framework for behavior change online Authenticated results Social network profiles Participation and access to through social search and personal blogs pro- Social relationships and interpersonal contributions to content networks authoratative information on wikis vide access to individual Tools for users to curate, specify communication on social networking and or content related conversations information and limit the information they messaging sites form communal contexts receive Participation in forums profiles sms Data.GOV INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIP COMMUNITY SOCIETY promotion of targeted information through social Influential bloggers and topical news sites SMS services and targeted apps provide direct communication blog networks create communal Government and with individual audience nodes institutional information members promoted through web social event sites translate sites and social media virtual communities to real profiles and feeds world interaction
  • 7. 4. applying the approach consider social media within the social ecology. The current landscape of Social Media behaviors can be practically mapped to the four levels of the Social Ecology and provide a frame- work for effective, measurable communication strategies. Facilitating and maximizing communication across all levels of the social ecological model is necessary to affect sustained behavior change. adopt a behavior-centric approach. When defining a strategy, it is important to consider a behavior-centric, rather than a tool-centric approach. While certain social media platforms my decline in popularity and usage, certain core social media functions will remain the same. Throughout the life of social me- dia, users have consistently used various platforms to Connect, Curate, and Contribute. faciliate conversation. Finally, many social media strategies fall victim to old habits and fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of Social Media and how messages travel through it. Successful Social Media strategy interconnects platforms, tools and influencers across all levels of the social ecological model to maximize the scope and potential of those conversations. 1 Linda Dalhberg & Etienne Krug, Violence: A Global Public Health Problem 2 Urie Bronfenbrenner, Ecological Systems Theory 3 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention; www.cdc.gov/ncipc