Friday, June 14, 2013

#socialnetworkingproblems: How to get started, be strategic, and avoid the pitfalls of social media

On Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of presenting at the 14th Annual Prevention and Outreach Summit presented by Philadelphia FIGHT.  It was an expanded version of a much briefer presentation on social media strategy for HIV programs that I had done for the SMART4Life provider forum a couple of weeks ago.  I'm passionate about using social media to spread information, change social norms, and generally do good things, so I was excited to share what I know with some local programs and organizations.

Here's my full slide deck, complete with links:

That first slide is something that we refer to around the office as simply, "The Slide."  It drives a lot of what we do here.  See, if things don't change, half of today's young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) will be HIV-positive by the time they hit the age of 35.  Half.


This is completely appalling and totally unacceptable.  What we've been doing hasn't been working.  I know there are a lot of barriers to social media for public health organizations (like outdated policies and not being allowed to bill for the time spent online), but we can't afford to keep doing the same tired things when they're clearly not having the effect we need them to. 

So, social media.  I gave participants in my session this handout to help get them started.  My presentation was really geared toward spending as little money on social media as possible.  It's difficult enough to get a good grasp on social media for a small business, but for small nonprofits and public health organizations, it can feel almost impossible.  Luckily I both love to learn and to share, so I'll be writing more posts on this subject in the future.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite resources.
  • CDC's National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) ran a series of webinars on social media for public health.  The first series is over, but you can get the recordings and slide sets here.
  • Social media for public health (#SM4PH) Twitter chats.  These are on a variety of topics, and they can be a great opportunity to network with others in your field.  Follow @sm4ph on Twitter for updates.
  • Net Tuesday Meetups.  Held the first Tuesday of every month in Center City Philly, with the theme "social web for social change."  A friendly group of people that know how to make things happen with little to no funding.
  • If you like books as much as I do, I'd recommend the new Social Change Anytime Everywhere from Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward.
  • And my favorite social media blogs/websites:
    • Dialogue Consulting.   They're Australian, so keep this in mind when looking at webinar times.
    • John Haydon.  Discussing social media for nonprofits.
    • Nonprofit Tech 2.0.  A social media guide for nonprofits.
    • Seth Godin.  Neither nonprofit nor social media-specific, but generally good, helpful advice.  Short, sweet, and published daily.
    • The Face of the Matter.  Health communications blog from Philadelphia-based Jim Garrow.
    • Buffer.  A more general interest blog about productivity, social media, and more.
    • Mashable's Social Media section.  All the most up-to-date news on social media.  Easy to get information overload here - take what you need, and ignore the rest.
    • Public Health Memes.  Great for a field-specific laugh.

There's the roundup.  If you're already on social media, what are some of your favorite resources?  If you're not, what's stopping you?

Briana Morgan is a health planner and website coordinator at the Office of HIV Planning. You can also find her on Google+.

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