Archive for the ‘Social networking’ Category
If you have determined that the use of social media channels is appropriate for your organization, you will quickly encounter hashtags, which are user-controlled categories prefaced with a pound sign. Hashtags were once limited to Twitter but are now used on most social media sites, including Facebook and Google+. Conversational, concise, and consistent use of up to two hashtags per social media message can result in double the amount of user engagement compared to messages without them. For more statistics specific to Twitter and user engagement, Buffer’s blog provides an excellent overview.
What are some of the ways to show that hashtags increase user engagement with your organization’s message? Look for performance indicators of reposts (the use of ‘Share’ on Facebook or retweets on Twitter), replies (comments under the message from Facebook followers, replies to the tweet from Twitter users), the number of clicks to any links included in your message (ideally to your organization’s website and resources), and hashtag usage frequency. For tips on how to track these performance indicators and additional statistics regarding hashtag creation and use, check out this helpful infographic.
For public sector and nonprofit organizations, social media can be a cost effective way to engage with users and supporters. However, social media is not without its cost, particularly in terms of staff time. So organizations have an interest in assessing the value of their social media activities.
One great resource for social media evaluation is Paine’s book, Measure What Matters. The book contains detailed guidance for evaluating social media use by different types of organizations. A great supplement to Paine’s book is The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, by Idealware, which has worksheets that will help plan social media strategies and implement recommendations in Measure What Matters.
Below are the key elements of Paine’s evaluation framework:
- Begin with a solid social media plan that identifies specific goals and objectives. As with any project, you need a plan for social media that links strategies to the organizational mission and includes objectives with targets and key performance indicators. Objectives for social media in the public sector often belong in one of two categories: helping users find information they need; or building user awareness, engagement, or loyalty. (The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide provides a list of potential objectives on page 52.)
- Define your target audience: Organizations often have many stakeholder groups, so it’s important to identify the groups most attuned to social media. On page 54 of The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, there is a worksheet for narrowing down stakeholder audiences to those most receptive to social media activities.
- Pick your metrics: Metrics such as views, followers, and measures of engagement with online content will help monitor your reach. Conversions, defined as the actions you want your social media followers to complete, might include becoming members of your organization or actively recommending your organization to colleagues or friends.
- Identify a source for benchmarks. Benchmarks provide a basis for comparison to assess progress. Organizations often use their own histories as benchmarks, comparing progress against baseline measures. You also may have access to data from a competing or peer organization that you can use for comparison.
- Pick a measurement tool: Paine’s book describes different measurement methods for evaluating social media, such as content analysis, web analytics, or surveys.
For more information, check out the resources mentioned in this blog post:
- Katie Delahaye Paine, Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2011.
- Idealware. The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, 2013.
On April 8, 2014, the inaugural cohort of National Digital Stewardship Residents will present a symposium entitled Emerging Trends in Digital Stewardship at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The symposium will consist of panel presentations on topics including preserving social media and collaborative workspaces, open government and open data, and digital strategies for public and non-profit institutions. It will also feature a demonstration of BitCurator, an environment of digital forensics tools designed to help collecting institutions manage born-digital materials, developed by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (SILS), and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). The symposium is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged.
The National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) is an initiative of the Library of Congress (LC) and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to “provide a robust, hands-on learning experience to complement graduate-level training and education.” The inaugural cohort began their residency at Washington, DC area libraries, museums, and cultural institutions in September 2013. Ten residents are embedded in institutions around the area, each completing a project related to an aspect of digital preservation and stewardship. The NDSR program aims to “serve the American people by developing the next generation of stewards to collect, manage, preserve, and make accessible our digital assets.” NLM serves as a host institution for the National Digital Stewardship Residency, and since September has worked with its NDSR Resident Maureen Harlow to develop a thematic Web archive collection. This project builds on a pilot Web archive collection completed by NLM and featured in The Signal blog of the Library of Congress, in October 2012.
As a means to reach out and engage with its user community, PubChem has launched a social media campaign. PubChem is a free chemical database and an open archive of the biological activities of millions of substances. PubChem is a part of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
PubChem now has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to post information about new PubChem features and data updates. Another highlight is the new PubChem Blog, which is intended to help you better understand PubChem, explore issues of scientific interest that drive the development of new features, and demonstrate how you can use PubChem resources to help enhance your research.
On June 13, The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Center for the Digital Future released the 11th Digital Future Project Report, the longest continuing study of its kind, which includes findings on more than 180 issues that explore the views and behavior of Internet users and non-users. The 2013 report features new questions about negative online attention (bullying, harassment, and unwanted sexual attention), the impact of mobile devices, and a closer examination of the “Millennial Rift;” the vast differences between how Millennials (age 18-34) and non-Millennials use online sites and services. A press release with highlights from the report is available, and the complete report is available for downloading.
CNA, in partnership with the National Emergency Management Association, funded the development and nationwide distribution of a 56-question survey to state, county, and local emergency management and response agencies, conducted from August 3 to September 12, 2012, to better understand their current views on the use of social media technology for emergency management. The key results from that survey have recently been published in the 84-page report, Social Media in the Emergency Management Field: 2012 Survey Results. Over 500 individuals submitted responses, representing 426 departments and agencies.
On June 4, 2013, U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, mentioned some of the survey results during her opening statement at a hearing entitled Emergency MGMT 2.0: How #SocialMedia & New Tech are Transforming Preparedness, Response, & Recovery #Disasters #Part1 #Privatesector. CNA is located in Alexandria, VA, and has nearly 70 years of experience researching and analyzing the complex scientific, operational, and policy challenges that are facing the public sector and public decision makers.
The usage of “digital volunteers” during disasters is growing in popularity, allowing volunteers with computer and information skills to participate from outside the affected region in supporting disaster response and recovery. One example of this effort is CrisisCamps, which bring together volunteers in information management, and web design and coding, to work on projects identified by federal and state agencies in response to specific events. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there are CrisisCamps occurring in various locations, including San Francisco. Find out if your area is hosting a CrisisCamp and how to volunteer! Virtual Operations Support Groups, also known as Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST), are groups that make use of technology and social media tools to provide support to those at the scene of a disaster. VOSTs are activated to perform specific functions in support of affected organizations and jurisdictions. The web site includes a list of active teams in the US. The Standby Task Force is an international digital volunteer platform that uses an open source model for digital volunteering, with a specific focus on crisis mapping. The Red Cross Disaster Digital Volunteer training program includes the use of Radian6 Engagement Console software, and other necessary online platforms to monitor social media and news sources, in order to assist the Red Cross in its response efforts.
On September 14, 2012, the publication Government Health IT reported that HHS officials announced the release of MappyHealth, a new Web-based application tool available to public health officials. MappyHealth was the winning entry in a developers’ challenge competition, “Now Trending: #Health in My Community.” The challenge was sponsored by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Health officials can use data gained through the app to complement other health surveillance systems, to identify emerging health issues and potential public health emergencies in a community.
Currently, the top diseases being tracked by MappyHealth are the common cold, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), mosquito borne disease, pertussis, tuberculosis, influenza and gastroenteritis. The top five locations for these disease-tracking tweets are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Orlando, Chicago and Los Angeles. The availability of MappyHealth provides a mechanism for local public health departments to effectively utilize social media to monitor disease trends as they occur in real time.
NLM’s Facebook page was launched on February 16, 2010, with the initial goal of presenting lively, online health posts. The first listing was about a new exhibition opening: Within These Walls: Contraband Hospital and the African Americans Who Served There. By March 20, the NLM Facebook page had 1,000 followers. Two years later, there were 10,000. Today, NLM’s Facebook page has over 13,000 “likes” and grows by an average of about 14 new likes per day!
NLM’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) manages the NLM Facebook page, as well as NLM’s general-interest Twitter feed. Every week a team of four people, comprising the Facebook editorial group, gather for a thirty-minute discussion, that generates Facebook postings for the week. An example of potential content is a celebrity’s recent disease diagnosis. They also review a master list of annual health observances and recognition dates. The group chooses from a dozen or more listings for each month’s postings. The team then updates and responds to comments on NLM’s Facebook page. They have learned that with social media, the only constant is change, and they are constantly scanning the horizon for new content ideas!
U.S. Medicine is a publication serving healthcare professionals working in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service. It provides a mix of news, medical updates, interviews, reports on special government topics and monthly columns. In the recently published special issue, This Year in Federal Medicine – Outlook 2012, National Library of Medicine Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate NLM’s 175 years of public service, and to look ahead to 2012 and beyond. He began by reviewing the enormous amount of electronic information generated through resources such as PubMed and MedlinePlus. He also acknowledged the role of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in promoting access to health information throughout the U.S., and the support and training that NLM provides in the areas of biomedical informatics and health information technology. Dr. Lindberg also addressed the emerging opportunities to link NLM’s health information resources with electronic health records. Even though Dr. Lindberg expects budgetary challenges for NLM in 2012 and beyond, his outlook for the future remains very positive, as he envisions that NLM’s range of services will continue to expand into new areas of biomedical research and health care.
Specific themes mentioned by Dr. Lindberg in his future outlook include the continuing growth of NLM resources, such as PubMed/MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and ClinicalTrials.gov. In addition, several new NLM resources will be released in 2012, including a Genetic Testing Registry and a database of clinical significant human genetic variants. Dr. Lindberg also expects the continued development of NLM resources related to disaster preparedness, and he noted the recent deployment of these resources in events such as the Gulf Oil Spill, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Dr. Lindberg also expects that NLM will continue to utilize and expand the range of social media tools, mobile applications, and mobile versions of its resources to reach new and diverse audiences with high quality health information. He mentioned the impressive array of social media currently used by NLM, including 13 Twitter feeds, notably @medlineplus and the Spanish-language version @medlineplusesp, six Facebook pages and a new YouTube channel. The full text of Dr. Lindberg’s remarks is available on the U.S. Medicine web site.