Digital Advocacy: Using Social Media to Engage your Community


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Digital Advocacy is an approach to engaging your audience online and inspiring them to take action around your brand, issue or cause. This is my brief intro to Digital Advocacy from the HCPRA 2011 Conference in Ottawa.

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  • Digital advocacy is a focused approach on engaging your audience to create champions for your brand, issue or cause. It’s the process to take your audience from recipients of information to participants in your ask, whatever it may be.Traditionally used to describe political activity, but advocacy is really about informing people in order to have them take action. Social media gives us the tools to reach people, inform them and get them involved a community.
  • There are a thousand reasons why you should NOT get involved in social media: too much time, to resources, don’t know where to start….BUT
  • Social media is the number one online activity.It has opened the web up to everyone. And recently passed email as the number 1 online activity.Like-minded people form communities online; whether through interests, location, need. You can focus on their particular needs and create true champions.
  • People trust people.The goal of digital advocacy is to create champions that believe in what you do and will advocate on your behalf to their friends and peers.This is the power of facebook. People are more likely to trust something that is recommended by their friends.
  • Goals are a very important piece of digital advocacy. You need to know what you are trying to achieve, or the direction you are going, so that you can track your progress.A good place to start is by asking, what do I want to be different when I’m done?
  • Identifying Your Audience Who do we need to reach? Identifying Your AudienceNow that we know our audience, we need to know:Are they here?Where are they?What are they saying?
  • Part of finding your audience is conducting an environmental scan.You Need to know who and what is already out there.Are your other organizations using social media?Are customers/patients/users talking about your services or brand?Is there conversation about your niche?What channels are already active?
  • How?Listen and MonitorGoogle Alerts Google BlogsearchTwitter Search ( MentionBoard TrackerTrackur ( Badges (on other websites)
  • 80% of internet users have gone online for health informationBut that’s only part of what you’re providing.Community building.Social media is not intended for consultation or diagnosis – this is not what people want, and would never fit with privacy laws.But social media has a strong and growing role in healthcare communications among peer communities of patients.There are some great success stories of social media around diabetes and smoking cessation, but it is a good fit for broader community engagement as well.Map out the content you want to share and how often you will share it.Think of who will manage the community and create guidelines for staff so they know what their role is – and they will likely have a role.
  • What is your message?How will you participate?It’s about connecting and having 2-way communication.Some amazing examples of Involving audience coming up with the other presenters.Respond to questionsContribute ideasProvide information
  • AuthenticBuild trustTransparentHonest
  • Can be your own or created by the communityStorytelling is perfect for healthcare. There are so many fantastic stories about what healthcare does/achieves that are overlooked. Focus is always on the negative.Take advantage of this opportunity to tell great, uplifting stories about what you do!Gives people something that they can relate withFind the stories that people will really identify with and run with it.Start with something that is small, but meaningful to you.Understand your own story before you get started. OBAMA had a great quote “I had to knjow and understand my own story before I could listen to and help others with theirs”This is where you really start to understand your organization’s story, and find the emotional context that will help your audience find themselves in what you do. This is important in getting your audience to participate and contribute their own stories.
  • As communicators we are all used to identifying and creating the stories that are worth telling.Social media requires this on a greater scale. There is a need for great content.But every organization has great stories, they just take a bit more effort to dig up and tell.
  • You have a great idea, a great program – now ask the community to get involved.
  • Loose connections vs. true, deep relationshipsDigital advocacy and social media enable you to reach more people than ever with your call to action; it’s what you are calling them to do that makes the big difference. Informing the audience of your cause is an essential first step – make sure they know what is going on that requires their involvement, and then make it as simple as possible for them to take action.People now are lazy, but they still have voices and opinions. The trick is to give them a simple way to participate – a one-click way to send an email or the ability to vote (or comment) on issues, and then let them share their thoughts and opinions, easily access the information they require and spread your awesome content to their networks.
  • Digital Advocacy: Using Social Media to Engage your Community

    1. 1. Digital Advocacy<br />UsingSocial Media toEngageyourCommunity<br />Tim Shaw<br />amplifi<br />
    2. 2. Digital Advocacy<br />What is digital advocacy?<br />The six steps to champions<br />
    3. 3. Digital Advocacy?<br />The way you engageyour audience<br />
    4. 4. Digital Advocacy<br />Why?<br />
    5. 5. Digital Advocacy<br />Why?<br />
    6. 6. Digital Advocacy<br />Why?<br />
    7. 7. how does<br />Digital Advocacy<br />work?<br />
    8. 8. Inform | Involve | Inspire<br />4. Participate Authentically<br />Create Awesome Content<br />Make the Ask<br />Set Goals<br />Find your Audience<br />Listen to what they say<br />
    9. 9. Inform<br />Set goalsanddirection<br />
    10. 10. Inform<br />Find youraudience<br />
    11. 11. Inform<br />What’s happeningnow?<br />
    12. 12. Inform<br /><br />
    13. 13. Inform<br />How do you wantto engage?<br />
    14. 14. Involve<br />Involve youraudience<br />
    15. 15. Involve<br />Be a ‘personlikeme’<br />
    16. 16. Inspire<br />Contribute awesome content by telling great stories about what you do.<br />
    17. 17. Inspire<br />Heading back to kindergarten<br />
    18. 18. Inspire<br />Inspire<br />Make the ask<br />
    19. 19. Inspire<br />The revolutioncan be tweeted.<br />
    20. 20. 905-415-4588<br /><br /><br />@shaw_tim<br />Questions?<br />