Developing A Social Media Strategy


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This document adapted from Groundswell walks you through how to develop a comprehensive social media strategy using the "POST" methodology. The worksheet is designed specifically for youth in Systems of Care.

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Developing A Social Media Strategy

  1. 1. Developing a Social Media Strategy Presenters: The Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Team Leah Holmes-Bonilla Brittany Smith YIT—Youth In TransitionSeptember 2011 • Randolph, VT
  2. 2. Caring for Every Child’s Mental HealthDeveloping a Social Media Strategy: Think POST Worksheet: Develop Your POST ApproachSocial marketing is at the heart of effective communications. We make the decision to reach out toa group of people to encourage them to change the way they think or act about an issue in orderto reach our goals. When it comes to systems of care, we’re often trying to increase acceptance ofsystem of care values or raise awareness about the issues that exist in our communities. Yet, whenpeople talk about social media, we get distracted... we ditch our social marketing strategy and gostraight for Facebook!Developing and implementing an effective social media strategy follows the same guidelines associal marketing. It is driven by your audience and is measurable. The following approach—known asPOST1—can help you create a social media strategy.People: Who is your audience? How do they use social media?Objectives: What are your goals? Determine how you will use social media to reach your audience(listening, talking, energizing, supporting, embracing).Strategy: How do you want your relationship with your community to change? Do you want to giveyour group a way to communicate privately online? Do you want a way to tell your community about thework your group is doing? Determine your strategy and then develop a plan for doing it.Technology: Based on your audience, objectives, and strategy, what technologies do you want to useto engage your audience? Social media is not about technology, it’s about relationships.People:In order to develop an effective social media strategy you have to know whom you are trying to reach.Start by thinking about your target audience(s), the people that can benefit from the work of yourgroup. • Professionals—caseworkers, foster parents, judges, lawyers, teachers, providers • Policymakers—State legislators, members of Congress, local elected officials • Volunteers—coaches, Court Appointed Special Advocates, mentors • Youth and Adults—other advocates, youth involved in systems, parents of system-involved youthOnce you know who your target audience(s) is you will have to conduct research to find out moreabout them, including where they go for their information and what social media tools they use. 1 developed by Forrester Research ( 1YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011
  3. 3. Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Objectives:Worksheet: Develop Your POST Approach After you determine your key audience(s) you have to decide what you hope to accomplish by communicating with them. Objectives can include: (1) Listening—better understand your audience and what their wants and needs are (2) Talking—communicate with your audience by sharing content and spreading messages (3) Energizing—power influential and enthusiastic members of your community that are using social media and are dedicated to your system of care (4) Supporting—set up spaces and tools to allow members of your community that are already using social media to support each other, rather than just receiving support from the system of care (5) Embracing—bring the youth and families that are receiving services into the work that you do (social media can be an effective way to identify champions and draw them into the work) Strategy: After you have determined your audience and your objective(s), you need to plan your social media strategy. Think about both your long-term goal, and short-term goals to plan how you are going to engage your audience to achieve those goals. • Create a plan that starts small but has room to grow. • Think through the implications of your strategy.  Plan out sample scenarios that might come up as a result of your engagement in social media and then plan for how you will handle it.  For example, develop a crisis plan in case a youth or other community member posts something that needs to be responded to immediately. • Make sure to get buy-in from your adult supports and partnering organizations within your system of care.  Hold an informational meeting with key stakeholders where you review the benefits and risks of using social media.  Be honest about the risks but come prepared with the ways that you plan to address them. 2 YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011
  4. 4. Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health • Put someone in charge of managing the strategy, preferably someone with experience using Worksheet: Develop Your POST Approach social media.  Recruit other people to help monitor your social media presence; create a work group to help with this. • Develop social media user guidelines and policies for your system of care.  If you plan on engaging with other youth, develop specific guidelines for youth and hold informational sessions for them and their parents on how to stay safe online.Technology:Once you have determined your audience, objectives, and strategy you are ready to think about thetechnology needed to meet your goal. In this process, consider: • Social media isn’t about technology, it’s about relationships.  When selecting what technology to use, think about how it enables your system of care to have a relationship with the larger community, and in particular, youth. • Technologies that enables community members to not only engage with your system of care but also with each other.  Family members and youth often want to connect so they can offer shared experiences, support, and advice. • Select the technology based on your audience. For example, if you want to reach behavioral health professionals set up a LinkedIn group, but if you want to reach youth, set up a Facebook page or group. 3YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011
  5. 5. Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health PeopleWorksheet: Develop Your POST Approach Who is your audience? Examples could include your governance board, Latino youth between the ages of 18 and 24, family members that have a child receiving services within the system of care, etc. How do the audiences you’ve selected engage with social media (are they on Facebook or Twitter, and if so, how do they use these technologies)? (1) _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Objectives What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? Based on these, how do you want to begin engaging with your audience? For example, if you want to let youth in the community know about an upcoming youth conference, you’ll be “talking.” As your system of care and youth group get more comfortable with social media you’ll move from “listening” to “embracing.” List your goals below and identify where they fit within the five objectives that were listed on page 2 (Listening, Talking, Energizing, Supporting, Embracing). (2) _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Strategy Based on your goals how do you want to engage your audience? For example, do you want to provide a place where community members can get information about your group? Or do you want to create a place where youth can actively support each other? Whatever your end goal is, develop a plan for how to get there. List your strategies below and identify some action steps to get there. (3) _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Technology Relist your audience and identify what social media platforms they use and how they use them (listed under People), then identify which social media platform you’re going to use to reach them. Indicate if you need to create something original such as a blog, discussion forum, or Web site. (4) _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 4 YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011
  6. 6. Caring for Every Child’s Mental HealthNotes Worksheet: Develop Your POST Approach________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011
  7. 7. Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health NotesWorksheet: Develop Your POST Approach _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 6 YIT—Youth In Transition • September 2011