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 an important 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 the access to information that we now have at our fingertips. For youth with mental health and substance abuse challenges, some of the information that matters the most is information about health, so that they can make better decisions and get help and support when they need it. It’s this access to connection and information that makes social media so popular – in addition to the fact that when we use social media our brain releases the “cuddle” hormone oxytocin!
Now that we’re all oriented to the same understanding of social media I’d like to talk about the diverse audience that we have in the room today.We have four types of people in the room: youth, family members, behavioral health professionals, bureaucrats. From my experience, each group feels very differently about social media and will therefore approach social media and sustainability with different attitudes. Personally at the age of 27 I belong in the millenials group, in other words, if tell me that I spend too much time online or try and take away my smartphone I’ll poke your eyes out and run away with my mobile device as fast as I can, and then do a Google search to learn about the consequences of my behavior. My connection to the internet and my social network through social media means everything to me! But that’s not true of everyone here so I’m going to map out my understanding of how each of you might approach social media and then map out some ways that we can all work together during this meeting to use social media in new ways that support sustainability for our projects.If what I have up on the screen does or doesn’t resonate with you, let me know! I want this to be interactive.Do a poll of the room?Define each audience:Young AdultsAdult AlliesProfessionalsBureacrats
One in four teens (ages 12-17) are “cell-mostly” internet users — far more than the 15% of adults who are cell-mostly. Among teen smartphone owners, half are cell-mostly.
Now that we’ve mapped out some of the assumptions about social media that we came into the room with today, let’s talk about data. 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. In particular, when it comes to young adults, social media has been here to stay for a while. My goal is to share my passion about social media and provide you with some tools that will help you to feel empowered to begin using social media in your organization so that you can better serve the youth, families, and communities you work with.
Teens = 12-17The 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. However, I’m not trying to underplay some of the negative things that can and do happen on social media sites – the APA articles that these data came from provides a well-rounded analysis of both the benefits and the risks.
One of the biggest and most challenging barriers to social media use in your agencies is liability and policy so let’s tackle that barrier. What we all need to avoid is the blind leading the blind!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 what 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. Some good resources for developing a policy are mapped out in the companion resource for the webinar.
So the big question is, how does social media relate to sustainability? There are three elements of sustainability that I want to talk about: Funding, Policy and Culture/Behavior Change. Social media helps with all three and I’m going to map out how.In general social media is a good business practice. We’ve already talked about how much of the American public is on social media, and how young adults in particular are very connected. Because of this, it makes sense for you and your agency to be on social media. If you’re not there now, I guarantee you will be in a few years and it behooves you to get an early start because of your target audience.Another way that social media supports all three of these elements is because it contributes so much to SEO. How easy is it for young people to find services in your state? How accessible and youth friendly is your website? Are you able to mobilize youth and other audiences to make policy and culture change? The answer is no if no one can find you online! This is particularly true for young people who look for things through their peers, and online.When it comes to behavior change social media should be a key tactic for you. How many adults in the room have a hard time remembering appointments? How hard must it must be young adults like myself? A key part of my mental healh is a weekly massage and if I wasn’t able to schedule my appointment online and get an email reminder, I probably wouldn’t take care of myself as well. Case Studies:Oklahoma’s use of the web and social media for NYTD: http://www.okil.ou.edu/nytd/nytd-for-youth, Twitter, FacebookFacebook is set up so that you have to friend themPathways to Positive Futures – Twitter, Facebook, Youth Friendly WebsiteThe only critique I have of these sites is that they’re not mobiley optimized so they’re hard to navigate. I hate to toot my own horn, but I put a lot of time and energy into mobiley optimizing my site. The good news is that I did it on a free platform and it only costs $10 extra a month.
Bad example: Oregon. Type in “young adult mental health services Oregon” and this is the first result that pops up.“children”It looks like a robot vomited all over the pageNot accessibleNot mobileAll of this info could be posted on social media in a way that’s accsible.Future way to use social media: enrolling youth in the health insurance exchanges. So with these applications in mind, let’s map out some goals for how we can use this meeting to further our social media skills as a team and start thinking about how to use social media back at the ranch.
Three scavenger hunt clues that will lead you to QR codes located somewhere inside the meeting center. The QR codes will open a url on your phone with clues to five trivia questions about Portland.When the fifth and final trivia question is posted on Wednesday afternoon, a representative from your team will message us through Facebook with your answers.Those of you with smartphones right now go to Google Play or the App Store and do a search for QR Code reader. Download the app! Young adults on the team, the adults will need your help.
Social Media and Sustainability: EAI 2013 Meeting
Social Media andSustainabilityBrittany Smith, Youth M.O.V.E. National
What is Social Media? Any online platform orchannel for publishingand disseminatinguser-generatedcontent.1 Social media allows usto engage with andempower ourcommunities. Connection Access to information1. http://heidicohen.com/social-media-definition/
Who’s in the Room? Young Adults – Millenials, DigitalNatives Adult Allies Behavioral Health Professionals Bureaucrats
Millenials You take away myphone and I’ll killyou! I’m usingFacebook, Instagram, Tumblr, andSnapchat. I access most of theinformation I careabout on a mobiledevice.
Adult Allies What are youngadults doing onsocial media? Snapchat is aboutsexting right?! Young adults spendtoo much ondevices. What’s the best wayto communicatewith my adult child?
Professionals I may or may notunderstand thevalue of thistechnology as itrelates to my work. Social media isunsafe because it’sso public, and canharm young adults. Social media allowsfor cyberbullying.
Bureaucrats Social what?... I don’t have time forthis. Do we have anorganizational policyin place? Are there any liabilityissues here?
Take it seriously! Social media iswidespread. In the U.S., socialnetworks and blogsreach nearly 80% ofInternet users andrepresents themajority of Americans’time online.11. 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 Half of all Americanadults are using socialnetworking sites.2 95% of all teens ages12-17 are online and80% of those teensuse social media.3
Positive Benefits The average user hasmore close ties and is½ as likely to besocially isolated.1 65% of teens have hadan experience thatmade them feel goodabout themselves. 58%have felt closer toanother person.2 Young adults who spendmore time on Facebookare better at showing“virtual empathy.”3 Youth who useblogs, websites andemail to discuss politicsand current eventsbecome more sociallyengaged over time.41. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks2. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Teens-and-social-media/Summary/Majority-of-teens3. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/facebook.aspx4. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/friends.aspx
Guidelines & Policies Develop userguidelines/policies foryouth. In partnership withyouth Focus onempowerment Develop an internalsocial media policy forstaff. Crisis plan.
Sustainability Funding Policy Cultural Change
Goals Professionals: “I’mgoing to learn aboutthis technology tobetter support mycommunity.” Bureaucrat: “I’m goingto find out myorganizational policyand try social media!” Youth: “If I’m on mymobile device it’shelping me to engagemore.” Adult Allies: “I’m goingto learn about thistechnology to see thepositive benefits andhelp my loved onesuse it safely.”
Social Media Scavenger Hunt@TA_Center#EAI2013facebook.com/GeorgetownTAQR Code
Questions?@ebkcd2 and @firstname.lastname@example.org/buildsocialconsultinglinkedin.com/company/build-social-llc