Coalition Building Via Social Networking


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This is the presentation I gave at the 2009 Kansas Public Health Association annual conference.

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  • Throughout the last few years, I’ve heard lots of different opinions on the controversial topic of Social Networking. It’s a growing phenomenon that people are participating in whether they realize it or not. Even people who refrain from using sites like MySpace or Facebook still participate in social networking. Online chatting and email have been around for quite awhile now. As broad as those two things may seem, they are part of social networking. Social Networking is becoming a huge communication tool. Today, it seems like the lack of communication is putting more and more people “out of the loop” so to speak. Depending on the situation, the blame can’t be put on just one person. Communication is a collaborative effort. Social Networking websites function like an online community of internet users.
  • Hierarchies: Networked Hierarchies Formal Work Domain: Information Work Domain: Operations, Performance Management - Virtual Teams Human Resource Management - Communities of Practice Supply Chain Management - Expert Networks Geographical Divisions - Knowledge Communities Marketing - Inside and outside the organizational boundaries Manufacturing Etc.
  • Discover new relationships and access the collaborative knowledge of your coalition and beyond Connect to undiscovered information beyond your current network Share your work Execute your work faster through accessing the right people, information and tools and by collaborating with others.
  • Utilizing social networking is extremely important when it comes to the membership of your coalition. Social networking enables members to communicate in real-time by posting comments on networking sites or emailing one another in a reply all manner. It is also a great way to publicize what they coalition is working on to your membership and a way to keep members who have not been active in the loop. Many groups use social networks for mobilizing – getting members out to an event, getting people to sign a petition, getting people to donate for a cause. Tobacco Free Wichita also utilizes their social networking site to encourage members to establish relationships with partnering organization. Tobacco Free Wichita has numerous sub-committees that utilize the TFW social networking sites to expand involvement in the coalition. This has brought members who have not been active for some time back to the coalition and are now engaged once again.
  • Presence Everywhere: any application, any device, any place, any person (cell phones) Integrated Collaboration: e-mail Real-Time Platform: chat, location, online meetings, voice, webinars Advanced Organizational Collaboration: social networking
  • First you must find out what your worksite’s policy is on social networking sites. Remember that not only are you representing the coalition but you are also representing the agency you work for. There are considerable liabilities and concerns that may not be as concerning to private non-profit partnerships. This is all the more reason to utilize coalitions and partnerships for social media purposes. As I simply provide technical assistance with Tobacco Free Wichita’s Facebook site, I have permission to access the site where otherwise would not be able to. If you are unable to access social networking sites due to worksite policy and cannot receive an exemption, you can access the site from another site such as your home. So once again I will stress the importance of understanding and abiding by your worksite policy. It is extremely important to know what networking site the majority of your coalition utilizes and trusts. Building upon that structure will give your online networking group a solid base to build upon. Determining what you want your coalition to accomplish by utilizing the site is the next step. Do you want to grow your membership? Do you want it to simply be a meeting reminder tool? Or do you want to have a fan base page to do mass shout outs? Figure out what coalition member will be in charge of updating the site and reports back to the coalition at meetings on the activity on the site. As the staff member at the Sedgwick County Health Department who works with Tobacco Free Wichita, it is my job to provide technical assistance to the coalition which involves recruitment of new members, distributing meeting minutes and newsletters. The coalition member responsible for the coalitions Facebook page is responsible for sending out these updates and meeting reminders through the site.
  • In the United States, Facebook leads with 78 million people compared to LinkedIn’s 11 million. The average age shows some of the demographics of the populations utilizing social networking. Now I will share with you information about each of these social networking sites.
  • The most popular use for social networking in the United States is to keep in touch with friends among all the generations.
  • Initially launched by undergraduates at Harvard University for college students in 2004, the site was soon expanded to include alumni in the corporate world as well as high school students. Membership was opened to anyone age 13 and older with a valid e-mail address in 2006. More than half of Facebook users are outside of college and the fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older. Tobacco Free Wichita decided to launch a Facebook page because some 93% of teens use the Internet and more of them than ever are treating it as a venue for social interaction. According to Pew Internet & American Life Project’s study on Teens and Social Media , 55% of online teens age 12 to 17 have created a profile on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. The coalition knows that this age group is a prime focus for tobacco companies as they would be the smokers of tomorrow. The coalition feels that the decision to join Facebook will not only enhance the networking of the coalition members, but will promote positive healthy behaviors in a place where more than half of teens visit.
  • This is Tobacco Free Wichita’s Facebook page. It shares information about the group, who the officers are and contact information for the coalition. You can also see that upcoming events are posted in the recent news box. The officers all have their own personal facebook page as well and can be contacted through the TFW page.
  • This is the bottom half of the TFW Facebook page. You can see that there is a “friends” or member list as well as the discussion board where members can start conversations and other can reply their thoughts or ideas. The wall is similar to this as members post comments either about the site, upcoming events or general thoughts related to the coalition. In the first week that TFW’s Facebook page was up, over 100 people joined. My roll with the coalition’s Facebook group is to provide technical assistance by sending out meeting minutes, newsletters and meeting reminders. Advantages the coalition has found with facebook is the simplicity of the site and how user friendly it is. They coalition likes how easy it is to network with many people. A disadvantage the coalition has discovered with facebook is that when they send out their newsletters each month, facebook messaging only allows typed script so the nice layout of the email version of the newsletter is lost.
  • Tobacco Free Wichita also has the name Clean Air Sedgwick County for tobacco initiatives that go beyond the City of Wichita’ boarders. To increase awareness of this group and to promote positive healthy behaviors the coalition developed a Facebook page for this group as well.
  • Launched in 2006, Twitter was designed to keep friends and colleagues informed about one's daily activities. However, Twitter is also increasingly used for commercial purposes such as companies telling customers "what's new." In addition, politicians and celebrities use Twitter to keep constituents and fans informed. Twitter messages ("tweets") are not sent indiscriminately; they are only distributed to recipients who have elected to become followers. Messages can also be sent via instant messaging, the Twitter Web site or a third-party Twitter application. A MySpace account can also be updated.
  • This is TFW’s Twitter page. The coalition uses Twitter for shout outs about when meetings are and when events are going be. The advantage TFW has found with their twitter page is how easy it is to mass blast out meeting reminders. The disadvantage TFW has had with twitter is the lack of coalition members on this site.
  • MySpace is an online social networking service, allowing users to share messages, interests and photos with a growing body of friends. Users can send emails, post videos, listen to music, and write blogs; the site also includes classified ads and posting of events. MySpace users invite "friends" who can create their own MySpace pages and so on, providing a chain of friends. MySpace is also used by people to champion their talents. For example, musicians and videographers post their music and videos, and artists show their paintings. Even political candidates use MySpace as a venue to air their opinions. In 2006, there were more than 100 million users on MySpace. TFW does not currently have a MySpace page due to coalition decision because MySpace is more complicated of a site.
  • The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections . Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways: A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections ) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections ). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone you wish to know through a mutual, trusted contact. It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network. Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates. Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them. The searchable LnikedIn Groups feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional and other relevant groups. LinkedIn groups can be created in any subjects and by any member of LinkedIn. Some groups are specialized groups dealing with a narrow domain or industry whereas others are very broad and generic in nature.
  • This is TFW’s group on LinkedIn. I provide technical assistance to the coalition by posting upcoming meetings and events as well as if there are any officer positions open and any news going on which recently it has been about the new FDA legislation on tobacco. These are benefits that the coalition utilizes. Disadvantages are that the group doesn’t have as many coalition members on this site.
  • Member Engagement A way to facilitate conversations between you and your members and among your members. It’s Long-Term Don’t expect immediate results It Takes Effort You need to be willing to engage It Takes Trust - If you want your members to spread your message, you have to trust them.
  • Discover new relationships and access the collaborative knowledge of your coalition and beyond Connect to undiscovered information beyond your current network Share your work Execute your work faster through accessing the right people, information and tools and by collaborating with others.
  • Coalition Building Via Social Networking

    1. 1. Coalition Building via Social Networking Hilary Meister, BS
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is social networking? </li></ul><ul><li>How social networking has evolved </li></ul><ul><li>Why social networking is important for coalition growth </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Keys to Success </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Social Networking Phenomenon <ul><li>Social networking is the use of special processes and technologies to support the discover, formation and maintenance of personal and professional relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Are you utilizing a social network? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In person (face-to-face) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At work (e-mail) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At home (website) </li></ul></ul>Source: 2006 by Dennis D. McDonald (email:
    4. 4. <ul><li>From hierarchies to… </li></ul><ul><li>Networked hierarchies </li></ul>The World is Changing… Source: 2006 IBM Corp
    5. 5. Social Networking is Important! <ul><li>Discover </li></ul><ul><li>Connect </li></ul><ul><li>Share </li></ul><ul><li>Execute </li></ul>Source: 2006 IBM Corp
    6. 6. Social Networking is Important! <ul><li>Associations exist to serve their members. </li></ul><ul><li>Members join associations for several reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Using Social Networking increases member: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perception of association membership value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likelihood of introducing new members to the association. </li></ul></ul>Source: 2006 by Dennis D. McDonald (email:
    7. 7. Real-Time Business <ul><li>Presence Everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Real-Time Platform </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Organization Collaboration </li></ul>Source: : 2006 IBM Corp
    8. 8. Your Coalition’s Networking Site <ul><li>Determine your worksite policy on social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>A critical step is to understand which of your members is on what network and how they value it. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what the goal of your site is. </li></ul><ul><li>Appoint a coalition member to manage the site and report activity to the coalition </li></ul>
    9. 9. Social Networking Site Popularity Source: Anderson Analytics, “Social Network Service (SNS) A&U Profiler,” provided to eMarketer, July 13, 2009 Networking Site Regular users who log on at least once a month Average Age Value of Site to Users Facebook 78 million 34 75% MySpace 67 million 29 65% Twitter 17 million 33 12% LinkedIn 11 million 36 30%
    10. 10. Who’s on What Site and Why?
    11. 11. <ul><li>Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. </li></ul><ul><li>People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. </li></ul>
    12. 15. A web site service that lets users send short text messages up to 140 characters in length from their cell phones or computers to a group of people.
    13. 17. <ul><li>MySpace users invite “friends” who can create their own MySpace pages and so on, providing a chain of friends. </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace is also used by people to champion their talents. </li></ul>
    14. 18. <ul><li>The purpose of LinkedIn is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn allows users to join or create groups to establish new business relationships. </li></ul>
    15. 20. Keys to Success <ul><li>It’s About Member Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Long-Term </li></ul><ul><li>It Take Effort </li></ul><ul><li>It Takes Trust </li></ul>
    16. 21. In Summary… <ul><li>The world is changing from hierarchies to network hierarchies. </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking is important for coalition growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what social networking fits your coalition best. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage your coalition </li></ul>
    17. 22. Hilary Meister Public Health Educator Sedgwick County Health Department [email_address] (316) 660-7198 Questions?