Developing a Social Media Strategy for Children's Mental Health


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This webinar from Brittany Smith, Director of Community Management for the Children's Mental Health Network, will focus on developing a social media strategy for your organization, community or system of care development effort. Most folks approach social media from a platformspecific perspective. This webinar will take it from a strategy development perspective. Learn the critical questions to ask like, who's your audience, how do they use social media, what's your intended goal for using social media. Based on these answers, the attendees will be able to decide what specific platform(s) they want to use. It's a "people first" approach that focuses on the target audience rather than the technology. Attendees will walk away with a toolkit that they can bring back to develop a more comprehensive plan that they can then implement.

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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.
  • Now I want to quickly go over some data about social media and how widespread it is. 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 and provide you with some strategy tools that will help you to feel empowered to begin using social media on behalf of your organization so that you can better serve the youth, families, and communities you work with.The most important thing to take away from this training is to be strategic in your use of social media. The best way to ensure you give your social media presence the time it deserves is to take social media seriously, and to learn about it. As you see, Americans spend a lot of their time online and, in particular, on social networking sites. So it behooves your organization to meet your audience where they’re at.
  • The question that a lot of organizations I encounter ask is, “what social media platforms should we be using?” Or, “have you heard of Pinterest, should we be on Pinterest?” However, from my perspective, that’s the wrong first question to ask. The first step any organization should take is to determine who their target audience is, and to develop a strategy centered around that audience. For those of you already on social media, take the time to step back and think about whether or not you have a clear strategy in place, if not, it’s never too late! And just like those organizations that are just getting started, take a people first approach. I encourage everyone to think POST. Today I’m going to walk you through a strategy development process that starts with People, moves on to Objectives, then Strategy development, and last but not least deciding on a Technology, or social media platform. It’s important to take the time to develop a strategy like this because you will have more success with your social media presence, and you will also be able to be intentional. The biggest – and most of the time – only cost associated with using social media is the amount of staff time it takes to manage your social media presence, and so without using this time intentionally it’s either wasted or misdirected. Let’s dive into the first step of the process, but before we do that I have a poll question.
  • The first step in the process is to select your target audience. Most of you probably already have a sense of your organization’s target audience. If not, once again, it’s never too late! A target audience can be defined as the group of people that your organization targets to benefit from the messages and services your organization provides. Map out who this group is and then segment them so that you can be more specific. Once you have your audience segments you’ll map out specific demographic information such as age, gender, race/ethnicity and household income. Knowing this information will help you to conduct research using the sources I’ve listed here to identify what social media platforms this group uses and why. Of course I encourage you to use national level data from organization such as the Pew Internet and American Life Project, but be sure to also do some surveys and focus groups in your own community so that you find out what people in your community are doing and why.
  • Next I would encourage your organization to map out some goals related to entering social media. A recipe for disaster is to enter social media just because you think you need to be there from a marketing perspective. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to be there from a marketing perspective, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and if you’re using social media just to market, your audience will sense that and they won’t be interested in engaging with you. Now that you’ve determined who you want to reach on social media, determine why you want to reach them using that particular channel. Examples of good end goals would be: to provide better customer service, to find out from the people we serve how we can better serve them, to encourage the people we serve to support each other. Based on these goals decide how you want to interact with your audience.1. Listen - enter social media spaces and listen to what people are saying, this allows you to better understand your audience and what their wants and needs are2. Talk - communicate with your audience by sharing content and spreading messages3. Energize - empower influential and enthusiastic members of your target audience that are using social media and have done business with you4. Support - set up spaces and tools to allow members of your target audience that are already using social media to support each other (rather than just receiving support from your organization)5. Embrace - use social media to identify champions in your target audience and bring them into the work your company does
  • Now that you have some end goals in mind, it’s time to map out how you want your organization to actually go about meeting those end goals. This is where the actionable part of your overall strategy comes into play. • Create a plan that starts small but has room to grow. • Think through the implications of your plan. - Map out sample scenarios that might come up as a result of your engagement with your target audience on social media and then come up with a plan for how to handle them.• Get buy-in from key supporters and stakeholders. - Hold an informational meeting with the people who will be affected by your presence onsocial media and go over the risks and benefits. - Be honest about the risks but come up with ways that you are going to address them.• Put someone in charge of managing your social media presence, preferably someone who hasexperience using social media and understands your company and brand. - Recruit other people to help you monitor your social media presence daily.• Develop social media user guidelines and policies for your organization. - Conduct an internal training for all staff so that they understand the benefits of socialmedia and can start using it to further the goals of the organization.• Outline business goals related to your social media strategy and then track those goals as you start using social media.• Develop a communications calendar outlining who will post content on each social media platform at what times on a regular basis.
  • 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
  • After mapping out a strategy, you determine what social media platforms to use. There are a lot of new technologies out there, and no organization has the capacity to be on them all so you have to choose where you want to spend your time and energy wisely. The best way to determine what platforms to have a presence on is to look at your target audience and determine which platforms are structured in such a way, and are used by your target audience in such a way that you can establish a meaningful long lasting relationship with them. Not only that, but you want to think through how a platform supports your target audience’s ability to engage with their peers. Because social media is really about relationships, think carefully about how each technology supports the development of relationships. The other thing to take into consideration is how and why each platform is currently being used. If your target audience isn’t using the platform, or if they’re using it, but to engage with content that’s not related to what your organization does, don’t be on it! That being said, it’s good to pay attention to new and exciting platforms. Pinterest isn’t a place that I want the Network to be yet but I think that in the future the way this platform is used is going to change, so I’m on Pinterest in my personal life and I’m paying attention to how brands are using it and I’ll be ready to have my organization have a presence there, when it’s appropriate and a good use of our time.
  • 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.
  • Developing a Social Media Strategy for Children's Mental Health

    1. 1. DEVELOPING ASOCIAL MEDIASTRATEGYBrittany Smith, Director of CommunityManagement
    2. 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.
    3. 3. Take it seriously! Social media is  95% of all teens ages widespread. 12-17 are online and  In the U.S., social 80% of those teens networks and blogs reach nearly 80% of use social media. 3 Internet users and represents the majority of Americans’ time online. 1 Half of all American adults are using social networking sites. 21. other-social-networks3.
    4. 4. Where Do You Start? Develop a strategy that thinks about the big picture.  Think P.O.S.T. Social media is not about technology, it’s about relationships.  People first!
    5. 5. PeopleSelect your target  Demographicaudience. Map out informationhow and why your  Pew Internet and audience(s) use social media. American Life Project  Social Technographic Profile  Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Inactives  Surveys and focus
    6. 6. Objectives Map out end goals. What kinds of Decide on how you want interactions do you want to have with to interact with your target your target audience? audience based on your organization’s end goal(s).  Listening  Talking  Energizing  Supporting  Embracing
    7. 7. Strategy Plan for how your  Create a plan that communication on starts small but has social media sites room to grow. will accomplish your end goal.  Think through the implications of your plan.  Be honest about the risks.  Generate buy-in.  Put someone in charge of managing your social media
    8. 8. 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. cies
    9. 9. Technology Social media isn’t about technology, it’s about relationships.  Select a technology that enables community members to not only engage with your organization but also with each other. Select the technology based on your target audience.  Research who uses it and
    10. 10. 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, comments, posts, people talking about this  Twitter: followers, mentions, retweets, DMs, clicks
    11. 11. Ending Thoughts Let it lead you. Have an open mind, be creative. Remember that just because a new technology is really cool doesn’t mean it’s good for your brand. It’s about empowerment. Be humble and ask for help.
    12. 12. Contact