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Social Media for Social Change
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Social Media for Social Change



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  • I want to start off being really clear about the purpose of this webinar. As you could guess from the title, I’m going to outline a process for developing a social media strategy. However, I want to emphasize that, though I have confidence in the process I’m going to walk you through, I know that it won’t fit lock, stock and barrel in every situation for every organization. More than anything, what I want to encourage all of us to do today with our time together is to start thinking strategically about being on social media with intention. I’m going to walk you through a strategy development process that I love, but your job is not to just take this process and apply it your organization or community without question. Your job is to look critically and analytically at what I’m going to present and think through how and if it applies to your specific situation. Everyone on this webinar is operating under different constraints and has different goals in using social media and you – not me – are the expert in understanding your situation. From my perspective, the strategy I’m going to present today is flexible and applicable to most organizations, but I want you to think critically about what I present and ask questions during the Q & A that bring to light how this strategy might not work for your organization, and then we can problem solve together. What I want for all of you to take away from this webinar are some tools for how to start thinking strategically about using social media so that you can have more success. With that, let’s move on to a clear definition of what social media is.
  • Social media is any online platform or channel for publishing and disseminating user-generated content. It’s this ability for anyone to create and disseminate content that makes social media so powerful and so social. Social media is a powerful tool from on organizational perspective because it allows us to have transparency and accountability in a way we’ve never had before, in particular with large organizations and government agencies that previously have been inaccessible. Every individual can now publicly state their opinion, whether positive or negative, and because of the public nature of the space, that opinion is often listened to and taken seriously. Social media allows us as individuals to take our environment and engage with it and shape it in a way that I find empowering and exciting. At the organizational level we can take this accountability and transparency and empower people to engage with us and make the services we provide that much more useful and impactful. The other aspect of social media that I love is that access to information that we now have at our fingertips. For us in children's mental health, some of the information that matters the most is information about our health, so that we can make better decisions and get help and support when we need it.
  • Regardless of your personal feelings about social media, it’s reaching a significant portion of the population and is here to stay, so it’s worth learning about.My goal is to share my passion about social media with you so that you go home and feel inspired to explore this technology, and feel empowered to begin using it in your professional life to better serve the youth, families, and communities you work with.The most important thing to take away from this training is that social media deserves your time and energy. Take it seriously because it can further your ability to meet the needs of the youth and families you serve. If you want to reach this audience, social media is a very effective way to do that because Americans spend so much of their time online and, in particular, on social networking sites. So dive in!
  • Now I want to talk a little bit about why people use social media. There are a lot reasons people join social networking sites including to connect with family and friends, to meet new people, and to connect with others that have shared interests and hobbies. What research from the Pew Internet and American Life Projects show us however, is that the predominant reason people use social media is to further their close offline relationships. Adult internet users that also use social media say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. In addition, adults generally have positive experiences online. When social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, “good” was the most common response (as seen in this word cloud).So people join to stay connected and continue to use social media because of the positive experiences they have. On the next slide we’ll go over some of those positive benefits.
  • The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American.Facebook users have more social support, and they are much more politically engaged compared with Americans of a similar age and education. Young adults who spend more time on Facebook than their peers are also better at showing "virtual empathy" to their online friends and such online empathy predicts real-world empathy. In addition, in a study of 63 Cornell University undergraduates, researchers found that people reported higher self-esteem after spending time on their Facebook profile than after time spent looking into a mirror (Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 2011). "Unlike a mirror, which reminds us of who we really are and may have a negative effect on self-esteem if that image does not match with our ideal, Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves," says Cornell communications professor Jeffrey Hancock, PhD, one of the study's co-authors. "We're not saying that it's a deceptive version of self, but it's a positive one.” From my perspective these positive benefits are astounding. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, this list goes on and on and you can see more of these benefits in the resource. However, I’m not trying to underplay some of the negative things that can and do happen on social media sites, in particular for young people.
  • Let’s touch on some of those negative assumptions that you might have about social media, in particular as it relates to young people. Too much time spent online does lead to negative well-being. You can see on this slide a lot the reasons that people are resistant to social media, in particular when it comes to youth and young adults. However, the research shows that a lot of our negative assumptions about social media, the internet, and technology are unfounded. Holly Schiffrin, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington says,"I definitely think that technology can be used to build and maintain in-person relations, but it's not a satisfactory substitute for in-person relationships.” Additionally, parents can do a lot to ensure that youth use social media safely and strategically so that it contributes to the development of close social ties. The bottom line is that before you go around knocking social media, you’ve got to give it a try. So tonight when you go home, or before the end of the week, get on social media and start being more intentional in how you use it.
  • One of the other negative things that I hear people bring up a lot related to social media is what’s called the “digital divide.” Historically, certain populations have had less access to new technology and it has been to their and our detriment as a society. The good news about the internet and social media is that this divide is steadily shrinking as it relates to race and ethnicity, and rural areas. The research has found that: Ultimately, neither race nor gender are themselves part of the story of digital differences in its current form. Instead, age (being 65 or older), a lack of a high school education, and having a low household income (less than $20,000 per year) are the strongest negative predictors for internet use.There are currently no major differences in overall social networking site usage by gender, race, or household income. However, minority populations do have less access to broadband in their homes, and this means that they are accessing the internet primarily on mobile devices such as smartphones. So from a cultural and linguistic competence perspective, it’s important to optimize your content for mobile devices if you want to reach this population. Also, it’s worth noting that certain populations do use certain social media platforms at higher rates. I’ll go into this in more detail later on in the presentation as I map out the different social media platforms.Access to the Internet via broadband has now spread to 94 percent of Americans. The 19 million who have no broadband access includes one-fourth of people living in rural counties and one-third of people living on tribal lands, areas where infrastructure is often nonexistent. That's 7 million fewer than last year.
  • 80% of internet users look online for health information (61% of American adults), making it the third most popular online pursuit among all those tracked by the Pew Internet Project, following email and using a search engine. However, the survey finds that not only are some demographic groups more likely than others to have internet access, but these same groups are generally more likely to seek health information once online. The most likely groups to look online for health information include: caregivers, women, whites, younger adults, and adults with at least some college education. The groups least likely to look online for health information include: African Americans, Latinos, people living with disability, older adults, and adults with a high school education or less. Young people, Latinos, and African Americans are increasingly likely to use mobile devices to gather information, including health advice.
  • Question: How do you currently reach out to youth? Website, email, snail mail… How many of you currently use social media? Which platforms?
  • An important aspect of your strategy that most organizations overlook is the development of user guidelines and internal social media policies. User guidelines are outward facing guidelines. By that I mean, they’re guidelines for your target audience encouraging them to use social media in a certain way. For an advocacy organization like mine this isn’t as important, but if you’re a direct service organization it becomes increasingly important. User guidelines help people to frame their experience engaging with your organization on social media, they help to develop expectations about what your audience will be getting from your organization on social media, and they help to ensure that everyone remains respectful and kind. This is also important from a legal perspective because you’re able to build in a disclaimer and be very clear about your intentions in utilizing social media. The other important thing to establish is an organizational social media policy. This is an inward facing policy designed to support employees in using social media to support the vision and mission of the organization. Of course you’re going to have your point person who’s managing your social media presence, but it’s also important to encourage and empower all staff – those that are interested at least – to use social media to develop professional relationships, provide better customer service, and raise awareness about the important work your organization is doing. However, in order to empower your employees you need to be crystal clear about your expectations are and support them in using social media appropriately and successfully. This can be accomplished through staff trainings, and the development of a clear policy that encourages certain types of behaviors and interactions on social media sites. Once again, this is also important from a legal perspective so that you can take action if a crisis occurs, or if an employee is struggling to use social media appropriately. To develop a policy check out… as well as Mashable’s article: 10 must haves for your social media policy
  • One of the overlooked values of social media is the data that your presence on social media generates. We call the data that we have access to about our social media presence, analytics. Analytics are powerful because unlike so many other things that we engage in, when we use social media we get to have instantaneous data about our success. Of course, the key is making sure that you’re looking at the right data and using it to further your progress to your goals. For example, a lot of organizations focus on how many likes they have on their Facebook page. And though this figure is important, it’s not what I look at to really determine if I’m using Facebook successfully to develop a relationship with my audience and empower them to also develop relationships. Someone liking a Facebook page is a one time action and doesn’t constitute an interaction with your organization. Therefore, on a monthly basis I track interactions such likes to a post, shares, comments, messages, etc. And on Twitter I track mentions, retweets, and direct messages. These are the analytics that help to focus on that bullseye that’s our end goal in using social media.
  • Let’s start with Facebook, by far the most popular social media platform both in terms of number of users, and how frequently people log on and use Facebook. Facebook is an important platform to utilize if you’re trying to connect with youth and families.
  • Twitter, on the other hand, would not be the best platform to use to reach that population. Twitter is used primarily by young professionals to discuss current, real-time issues including world events and business-related topics. It’s a great avenue for what’s called business to business marketing, or what the social sector might call partnerships. In particular, Twitter is a great place to reach the black community. More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, with 13% doing so on a typical day. In contrast, only 12% of white online adults use Twitter on a typical day.
  • LinkedIn is a great platform for reaching other professionals. LinkedIn is used primarily by older, male professionals to market themselves.
  • YouTube is a powerful platform because it allows us to tell stories. Also, YouTube is an important way to reach the rural population and minority populations.
  • Social media is important because it will allow you to better meet the needs of the youth, families, and communities you serve. You’re meeting them where they’re already spending time and giving them the opportunity to have a relationship with you that’s founded upon transparency and mutual empowerment. Social media is a place where people go to connect, feel good about themselves, and learn about their world, and therefore it behooves you to meet them in that space and encourage their relationships with the people that provide them with support.


  • 1. SOCIAL MEDIAFOR SOCIALCHANGEBrittany Smith, Director of CommunityManagement
  • 2. What is Social Media? Any online platform or channel for publishing and disseminating user-generated content.1 Social media allows us to engage with and empower our communities.  Connection  Access to information1. http://heidicohen.com/social-media-definition/
  • 3. Take it seriously! Social media is widespread.  95% of all teens ages  In the U.S., social 12-17 are online and networks and blogs 80% of those teens reach nearly 80% use social media. 3 of Internet users and represents the majority of Americans’ time online. 1 Half of all American adults are using social networking1. sites. 2 http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2. http://www.pewinternet.org/Media-Mentions/2011/Half-of-American-adults-use-Facebook- other-social-networks3. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Teens-and-social-media
  • 4. It’s About Relationships Connections with family and friends is the primary reason.  2/3 say staying in touch is a major reason they use these sites.1 Most online adults describe their experiences using social media in positive terms.21. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Why-Americans-Use-Social-Media2. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites
  • 5. Positive Benefits The average user has  Young adults who more close ties and is spend more time on ½ as likely to be Facebook are better at socially isolated.1 showing “virtual 65% of teens have empathy.”2 had an experience that  Youth who use made them feel good blogs, websites and about themselves. email to discuss politics 58% have felt closer to and current events another person.3 become more socially engaged over time.41. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks2. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/facebook3. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Teens-and-social-media/Summary/Majority-of-teens4. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/friends.aspx
  • 6. Panic “Moral panic is a common reaction to new forms of communication.”11. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01474.x/full
  • 7. Why the negative assumptions? Fears:  Before you knock  Less face-to-face time it, give it a try.  Cyberbullying  Pay attention to what  Isolation you experience.  Do you feel more or  Dangerous people less connected?  Less community  Share it with me and engagement with Kristin!1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01474.x/full
  • 8. Digital Divide Age, lack of a high school education, and low household income are the strongest negative predictors of internet usage. 1 No major differences in social media usage based on gender, race, or household income.21. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Digital-differences2. Ibid
  • 9. Health Information 80% of internet users look online for health information.1 Looking for health information is the 3rd most popular online activity.2 41% have read someone elses commentary or experience on an online news group, website, or1. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/HealthTopics/Summary-of-Findings/Looking-for-health- blog. 3 information.aspx2. Ibid3. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/8-The-Social-Life-of-Health-Information/01-Summary-of-
  • 10. Barriers Liability Lack of knowledge and skills State social media policies and regulations Lack of time Privacy
  • 11. Tools HootSuite, Tweetde ck, Buffer Educate yourself!  Mashable  Social Media Today  Social Media Examiner Google Alerts Ask the young people in your life for help
  • 12. Guidelines & Policies Develop user guidelines and policies for your organization. Develop a crisis plan to respond to negative or harmful posts. Provide training for all staff on effective ways to use social media. http://socialmediagovernance.com/poli cies
  • 13. Analytics and Measurement Use data to see if you’re meeting your end goal, and to make improvements. On a monthly basis track interactions.  Facebook: likes, shares, comme nts, posts, people talking about this  Twitter: followers, mentions, r etweets, DMs, clicks
  • 14. Facebook There are currently  The fastest growing 901 million active group of Facebook users on Facebook.1 users are over 65 Facebook reaches years old.4 almost 57% of the U.S. population.2 The majority of Facebook users are female.31. http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=222. http://socialmediatoday.com/paulkiser/199133/social-media-3q-update-who-uses-facebook-twitter-linkedin- myspace3. http://mashable.com/2012/03/09/social-media-demographics/4. http://socialmediatoday.com/paulkiser/285851/who-uses-facebook-twitter-linkedin-myspace-4thq-1stq-stats-and- analysis
  • 15. Twitter Twitter has nearly 200  Nearly 15%of U.S. million users.1 adults who are online The average user is use Twitter.4 39 years old.2 More than ¼ of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, 13% do so on a typical day.31. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-128890482. http://www.flowtown.com/blog/older-people-flocking-to-social-networks3. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Twitter-Use-2012/Findings.aspx4. Ibid
  • 16. LinkedIn LinkedIn has over 120  59% of users are million users.1 male.4 The average user age is 44 years old.2 92% of journalists have a LinkedIn account because it helps them easily connect with sources.31. http://www.linkedin.com/2. http://www.flowtown.com/blog/older-people-flocking-to-social-networks3. 2011 Arketi Web Watch Media Survey, http://www.arketi.com/survey.html4. http://www.socialnomics.net/2011/03/28/linkedin-hits-100-million-breakdown-by-country-graphic/
  • 17. YouTube Nearly half of YouTube  Non-white adult users are 25-44 years Internet users have old.1 higher rates of using Rural Internet users video-sharing sites.3 are now just as likely as users in urban and suburban areas to have used online video-sharing websites like YouTube.11. Ignite Social Media, 2011 Social Network Analysis Report. http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social- media-stats/2011-social-network-analysis-report/2. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Video-sharing-sites/Report3. Ibid
  • 18. Bringing it together. Social media will  Goals: allow you to better  Position yourself as meet the needs of a resource and those you serve. support.  Connection  Encourage them to  Empowerment connect positively with others.  Transparency  Provide accurate  Accountability information. Meet them where they’re at.
  • 19. Next Steps Get online and play.  Payattention to what you experience. Share the knowledge! Connect with me on social media. Send Kristin content to post as Project Connect.
  • 20. Contact Me@ebkcd2linkedin.com/in/ebkcd2facebook.com/ebkcd2brittany@cmhnetwork.org@CMHNetworkfacebook.com/CMHNetwork