This presentation is about the WHAT and the WHY of social media, and why I think it is a great tool for public health. In the second portion of our program we will talk about the HOW, and that will be a great part of the program because we get to hear how several state health department’s are turning the promise of social media into reality.
Social media are online tools that allow users to collaborate, share and connect around various forms of content. Among other things, It can be a facebook post or a tweet from twitter, in can be a video, audio recording or a photo you share on Flckr. It is believed that the term was first used by a technology consultant in California way back in 2007. Although the term and some of the platforms may be relatively new, some forms of social media, like blogging have been around for more than 15 years To me the three things that I think about defining social media is that it’s about; Content Connecting through online conversations Sharing
And if you are wondering how many different social media tools are out there, well there is an infographic for that. This is a graphic that is updated yearly, I believe, by social media guru Brian Solis This is a great representations that I think I’ve seen in terms of describing the ecosystem of the social web, and it gives you a sense of the exponential growth in just the last few years in this space. Look at all of those networks. And you have to be on all of them
For the purposes of our discussion, let’s look at the big three social media sharing outposts. Incidentally, doesn’t this illustrate how much things have changed? We used to talk about ABC, NBC and CBS as being the big three and now we talk about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Just last week, Facebook announced that it had reached 750 million users, and while the exponential growth is slowing a bit -- it is still growing and we will likely be hearing in the not too distant future that FB has 1 billion users. Interesting note about women is that they also tend to the dominant users across social media. According to a Pew report they comprise 56% of social network users 52% of Email users 55% of instant messaging 54% of bloggers 58% of users of photo sharing sites
This is a screen shot of a graph that Mark Zuckerberg used for his latest announcement, and it really jumped out at me. Because while Facebook user growth appears to be slowing a bit, the growth of sharing on the network doubles every year. As FB has added the ability to share information on its network people have taken advantage of it. Today facebook users share 4 billion pieces of information every day. This sharing is really important because it points to what Zuckerberg say will be the next wave in social media. Less about getting people connected and more about development of Apps for social sharing will explode, emphasis on mobile computing will increase, and new tools to increase the ability to segment social users into groups will be developed.
You may have heard this stat recently – that more content is created and uploaded to youtube in 60 days than content that was produced in 60 years of TV history. Charlie bit my finger is most popular video on site And now for your viewing pleasure, the first video ever uploaded to YouTube
It’s hard to believe that Twitter has now been around for five years. That 1.5 million is out to about 175 million accounts. And now for your viewing pleasure, I present the first tweet ever sent out on twitter
Of course Jack went from sending that tweet five years ago to hosting a Twitter Town Hall with the President, so it looks like social media was very good for him.
So all of these new channels are nice but impact are they having on our work and how we communicate? Well it depends who you ask?
If you ask a haggard communication professional like I did recently, they’ll say – I love the potential these new tools offer but you know what, I don’t have the time, and I don’t really get twitter, and by the way, I don’t have the time.
Now if you ask a former teacher of mine, Bill Gentile, an award winning photo and video journalist who’s covered his share of revolutions, he’ll tell you that the times that we are living in a time of history right now is as significant, from a communications standpoint, as when Gutenberg invented his printing press. That this disruptive change has created an unparalleled opportunity for people and organizations to tell their own stories in their on words and and images, without anyone else’s filter, and have the potential to share that with millions So who’s right?
Well it turns out they’re both right.
So let’s take a quick look at what I call the 7 p’s of getting social media right.
Based on what you learn to, engage in discussions on other sites. Dive in – you can participate before you have your own program up and running to get a feel for the social space. Respond to comments, posts, Tweets, etc.
It takes a village to roll out Enterprise-wide social media program In order to develop a successful program, you need buy-in from you IT department You’ll need your legal department involved in making sure that policies and guidelines are properly drafted You’ll need HR to help in training and communicating those new polices and procedures internally to staff You may need the help of web designers if say you want to have a blog that more visually integrates with the look and feel of you web site And of course you’re going to need content creators to constantly prime the pump
Policies are a big deal, but luckily there are many government organizations who have gone before you and are more than willing to share what they have developed. This is a screen shot from Govloop.com – they have a whole section of polices and best practices from various state and federal agencies linked on their site. Incidentally, policy development is important even if you are going to have a formalized program for your department. Because the truth is, you’re already involved with social media whether you know it or not -- there’s a good likelihood that close to half of your staff are using social media during the work day. They are reading blogs, or posting status updates on facebook or twitter. It’s really important to set the ground rules explicitly for your staff.
Now this is an area where I think public health can really excel – because public health departments are content creation machines.
Let people know that you are in the social space.
Not enough resources to sustain the effort. Social media is affordable, but as we’ve seen with the amount of work, its not free. You have to figure out ways to pay for those opportunity costs. I really believe that is a management function in all of this -- you have to figure out how to integrate this into your public health practice. And remember, you don’t have to be a power user in all of these spaces. Pick out a few areas where you want to focus and do them really well. There also the organizational challenge of losing control a bit…. You may be afraid that people will say bad things about you, and that’s not a fun feeling. But a funny thing is going to happen. If you commit to building your community your followers will defend you -- they will stick up for you. And you’ll also have a say in the conversation. The other thing that public health has going for it in this space is that you have a built in audience. There isn’t a second state health department in your state, so you start out way ahead of the game.
I believe that public health is having its tree in the forest moment. There have been a lot of trees falling in our public health forest over the last few years, and it’s not likely to get better soon.
Social Media: The promise for Public Health
Social Media <ul><li>The Promise for Public Health </li></ul>
Facebook: Still growing <ul><li>750 million users </li></ul><ul><li>50% log on every day </li></ul><ul><li>Avg. user: 130 friends </li></ul><ul><li>700 billion minutes spent on FB every month </li></ul><ul><li>Woman 55+ fastest growing demo </li></ul>
YouTube: Ready for Its Close-up <ul><li>More content in 60 days than 60 years of TV </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 500 million users </li></ul><ul><li>Avg. user 15-25 minutes per day </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd most search site after Google </li></ul>
Keeping it Short & Simple <ul><li>5 years old </li></ul><ul><li>140 characters </li></ul><ul><li>200 million tweets/day </li></ul><ul><li>10% users follow more than 50 people </li></ul><ul><li>1.5 million accounts follow more than 500 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: @chartoftheday </li></ul>
1. Peruse <ul><li>Listening is key </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Alerts, Google Blogs, Twitter search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are people mentioning you? </li></ul><ul><li>What are they saying? (+/-/=) </li></ul><ul><li>Are they talking about your issues? </li></ul>
5. Plant your flag <ul><li>What will be your digital outposts? </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to be everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Do what works for you, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Stay committed to where you are </li></ul>
6. Plan for Content <ul><li>Editorial Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Make it rich </li></ul><ul><li>Make it relevant </li></ul><ul><li>“ Reimagine” your content </li></ul><ul><li>Enable sharing </li></ul>
@Redcross Account: “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.”
What are some of the rewards <ul><li>Get Info out faster </li></ul><ul><li>Unfiltered message </li></ul><ul><li>Community building </li></ul><ul><li>Direct communication </li></ul><ul><li>Increases Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage Word of Mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Media Amplifier </li></ul>