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Blogs, Tweets, and Friends: Effective Mentoring in the Age of Social Media


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This presentation was delivered at the National Mentoring Summit in January 2014.

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Blogs, Tweets, and Friends: Effective Mentoring in the Age of Social Media

  1. 1. Blogs, Tweets, & Friends: Effective Mentoring in the Age of Social Media Sarah Kremer, ATR-BC Program Director
  2. 2. 1.  Using     social  media   for     visibility,   recruitment,   and   fundraising  
  3. 3.
  4. 4. What is Social Media Good For? BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS •  Public/supporters •  Program participants Visibility Recruitment Screening Fundraising Support Education Assessment
  5. 5. What is Social Media Good For? SUSTAINING AND SUPPORTING RELATIONSHIPS •  Ongoing consistent contact –  Find ways to connect more with youth/clients –  Remind supporters/donors of need (and thank them, too) •  Monitoring communication and interactions –  Youth seek advice through social media; promote education around use and privacy issues
  6. 6. What is Social Media Good For? COMPLEMENTING TRADITIONAL STRATEGIES •  Keep doing proven activities –  Direct mail –  Email marketing –  Telemarketing –  Events –  Word of mouth (in person!)
  7. 7. Why Not Using Social Media? •  •  •  •  Lack of strategy No staff or budget Don’t have expertise Concerns about privacy and control 2011
  8. 8. Strategize •  Is it beneficial for your agency/program to dive in? •  Do you have staff/volunteer resources to maintain presence? •  Should you have individual as well as agency voice? •  Can you reach your goals?
  9. 9. Listen Engage Social Content Generate Buzz Community Building + Social Networking
  10. 10. INFOGRAPHIC  
  11. 11. Free Arts Minnesota, 2011
  12. 12. INFOGRAPHIC  
  13. 13. 5 of these: 2 of these:
  14. 14. Wabi-sabi 侘寂 Nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect
  15. 15. 2.  Developing     safe     social  media   policies  
  16. 16. Benefits for Mentoring Programs •  Connecting via social networking can enhance face-to-face •  Communication can occur at anytime and anywhere •  Capitalize on unique qualities of electronic communications, such as thoughtful responses •  Excellent way to enhance mentee’s writing, reading, tech skills •  May discuss subjects online if not comfortable discussing in person •  Can help stay in touch when youth experience transiency •  Online platforms sometimes provide insights into mentees’ needs, lives, interests, and concerns California Adolescent Health Collaborative, 2011
  17. 17. Risks for Mentoring Programs •  Violations of privacy of mentors, mentees, program environment •  Mentor-mentee boundary issues •  Potential for mentor misconduct •  Need for monitoring = more staff resources
  18. 18. Risks for Mentoring Relationships Greater risk of miscommunication, conflict, or hurt feelings if mentors •  Are not clear in communication •  “Generational cues” (i.e., typing in all caps, using emoticons) aren’t understood •  Start messages without friendly greeting •  Don’t read messages carefully •  Are multitasking and attention isn’t completely available for mentee •  Don’t ask clarifying questions (i.e., what acronyms mean) •  Misread emotion or intent of mentee’s message
  19. 19. Policies “Youth-development agencies sometimes have the impulse to restrict the use of social media — for reasons ranging from fear of the unknown to differences in generational comfort level — but that rarely works given the burgeoning number of sites and the undertow of youth culture toward electronic communication.” How Should Kids, Youth Workers Interact Virtually?, 2013 “Discussing media content with teens is more effective than prohibiting access, in reducing the amount of personal information disclosed.” California Adolescent Health Collaborative, 2011
  20. 20. Policies •  Must have policies around social media engagement –  Promote benefits in safe and effective way –  Prevent risks from harming program participants or organization –  Includes teaching component of specific strategies: awareness, engagement, respect for privacy and empowerment
  21. 21. Sample Social Media Policy for Staff and for Volunteers
  22. 22. Ethical Principles •  Promote welfare and safety of youth –  Use of photos and identifying info by ANY volunteer •  Be trustworthy and responsible/Act with integrity –  Monitoring communication •  Promote justice for youth –  Include educational component Adapted from Rhodes, et al., 2009 Policies
  23. 23. Special Policies: Protocol for Non-staff •  Sharing info about program participants/ clients or potentially embarrassing info •  Sharing activity details •  Process for conflicts (i.e., not online) •  Rules for social media connecting between volunteers and program participants/clients: can they be friends on Facebook?
  24. 24. Special Policies: Relationship Connections •  No contact •  Minimum contact •  Time-defined contact •  Monitored contact •  Open contact
  25. 25. Tips for Developing Policies •  Ensure restrictions are not based purely on discomfort of staff, a.k.a. digital immigrants •  Include benefits of use in addition to restrictions •  Promote relational quality of mentoring in helping youth connect with others; mentors can role model online relationships and use digital connections to build social skills •  Get input from youth participants: What do they recommend? How do they want to connect?
  26. 26. •  Create a sample strategy for your nonprofit/cause •  Create a sample policy document for your nonprofit/cause
  27. 27. 3.  Using  social   media  to  build   communica<on   and  rela<onships   and  to  create   opportuni<es  for   healthy   development  
  28. 28. Benefits of Social Media Use •  Extends existing friendships and provides supportive environment to explore romance, friendship, social status, and shared interests •  Teens from lower income families are more likely to use online social networks than wealthier teens •  Teens find support online that they may lack otherwise, especially marginalized groups (e.g., LGBTQ, disability) •  Teens find key sources of information and advice online, including health information about sensitive topics •  Teens report gaining more independence and freedom California Adolescent Health Collaborative, 2011
  29. 29. Risks of Social Media Use •  Vary by –  Type of risk –  Use of media –  Youth psychological makeup (most at risk: those who engage in risky behaviors offline as well) •  Peer rejection and lack of close friends are strongest predictors of depression and negative self-views •  Teens who use media heavily report getting into trouble often, more sadness, discontentment and boredom •  68% of girls report having a negative experience on social networking site, including fights on Facebook and “burn” pages for taunting or teasing others California Adolescent Health Collaborative, 2011
  30. 30. Negative Experiences •  25% have had experience that resulted in faceto-face argument or confrontation •  22% have had an experience that ended friendship •  13% have had experience that caused problem with parents •  13% have felt nervous about going to school next day •  8% have gotten into physical fight because of something that happened •  8% have experienced some form of online bullying Lenhart,  A.,  et  al.  (2011)  
  31. 31. Some Specific Risks of Social Media • Cyberbullying • Texting/sexting • Adolescent relationship abuse • Online sexual solicitation and predation • Privacy • Advertiser collecting information/exposure to more advertising
  32. 32. Teens & Technology 2013: Access •  78% of teens now have cell phone, and 47% of those own smartphones •  23% have tablet computer, comparable to general adult population •  93% teens have computer or have access to one at home; 71% of those say laptop or desktop they use most often is one shared with other family members Pew Research Center, 2013
  33. 33. Teens and Technology 2013: Mobile •  74% teens say they access Internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices at least occasionally •  25% teens are “cell-mostly” Internet users •  Older girls are especially likely to be cell-mostly Internet users –  34% of teen girls say they mostly go online using their cell phone –  24% of teen boys –  Boys and girls are equally likely to be smartphone owners Pew Research Center, 2013
  34. 34. Teens and Technology 2013: Divide •  Youth living in lower-income and lower-education households are still somewhat less likely to use Internet in any capacity — mobile or wired •  However, those in lower socioeconomic groups are just as likely and in some cases more likely than those living in higher income and more highly educated households to use cell phones as primary point of access •  Black and Latino teens are now just as likely as White teens to create social network profile •  Black and Latino youth are heaviest consumers of media content via cell phone California Adolescent Health Collaborative, 2011; Pew Research Center, 2013
  35. 35. Teens and Technology 2013: Drama •  Facebook is major center of teenage social interactions –  Positives of friendship and social support –  Negatives of drama and social expectations •  Looking good – physically and reputationally – is big deal •  Facebook is challenging space because so many others are there and watching and judging •  Leaving drama can be liberating Pew Research Center, 2013
  36. 36. INFOGRAPHIC  
  37. 37. Teens and Technology 2013: Privacy •  61% have decided not to post something because it might reflect badly on them in future •  59% have deleted or edited something that they posted in past •  53% have deleted comments from others on their profile or account •  45% have removed their names from photos tagged by others •  31% have deleted or deactivated an entire profile or account Pew Research Center, 2013
  38. 38. Relationship/Connection Considerations •  Ensure all participants have access (digital divide) and use consistently •  Consider creating group (private Fb or closed) so that participants can join and connect via this monitored platform •  If monitored, review to ensure mentor’s writing is –  Appropriate (content) –  Appropriate (matches and challenges mentee’s reading and writing skills) –  Free of grammar and spelling mistakes –  Clear in communicating
  39. 39. Relationship/Connection Suggestions •  Check with mentees re: platform use and inform mentors to aid in communication (if allowable) •  Discuss appropriate privacy settings with mentors and mentees –  What mentees and/or parents/caregivers can see of mentors –  What mentors can see of mentees •  Include parents/caregivers in training and reinforce their preferences for access, privacy
  40. 40. Special Training for Youth •  Understanding cyber safety and 2012 Common Sense Media cyber bullying •  Understanding privacy settings •  Understanding “forever” qualities of online postings •  Understanding boundaries with staff and volunteers 2012 Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  41. 41. Summary & Resources
  42. 42. Doing Social Media •  Be ethical •  Be smart •  Be purposeful •  Be resourceful •  Be experimental •  Be productive
  43. 43. Social Media and Technology in Youth Mentoring Relationships Survey 2013 •  Friends for Youth and Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring •  For program staff •  For mentors •  Incentives for both! •  15 – 20 minutes online •  Announcement going out this week!
  44. 44. Social Media Resources –  How Networked Nonprofits Are Using Social Media to Power Change blog and books: The Networked Nonprofit and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World by Beth Kanter –  Nonprofit Tech 2.0: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits and Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield, Diosa Communications •  Nonprofit Technology Network •  Network for Good
  45. 45. Social Media Resources •  Idealware’s The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide •  CraigConnects’ How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media infographic •  How to Create a Social Media Marketing Schedule •  Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guide to Writing for Social Media