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The CNPEA and CHNET-Works recently hosted a webinar on using social media to support your practice.
Your engagement and expectations were high and by the end of the webinar there was still much left to discuss. Here is a brief overview of the presentation, as well as a few guidelines to tackle socia media and a Q&A of all the questions that we did not have time to answer on the spot.

First a quick recap...

What social media isn't:

  • dark magic
  • "rocket surgery"
  • Strictly a waste of time filled with cat videos 

What social media is:

  • a way to expand your audience and your horizons 
  • a personalizable source of information and a channel to peers and influencers
  • composed of humans just like you, who are looking for ways to connect, to exchange information and to effect a change

Where to start?

- Review and define

  • Conduct a quick assessment of your organization's social media presence. You may already have a few dormant accounts, waiting to be rediscovered and maintained. Gather all the logins and administrator privileges, update the email addresses tied to the accounts if needed, identify who the person(s) in charge of them will be.
  • Identify your message and your goal(s).
  • Agree on a strategy, a tone, a policy. Make sure your strategy aligns with your mission. 
  • Identify your target audience. Who are they?  What do they use? What do they want to hear about? Start reading and listening to what they are saying.
  • Don't spread yourself thin trying to be everywhere. Figure out  which tool you are most comfortable with (text, images, sound etc) and pick the appropriate one. Stick to one or two social channels if you have a small team.

-Set SMART goals for your social media presence:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

-5 key ways to engage as you get started:

  • Listen & Participate - Get to know your stakeholders 
  • Storytelling - Engage the hearts and minds of your audience
  • Knowledge Sharing - Leverage collective experience
  • Community Building & Social Networking - Connect with peers and supporters
  • Fundraising & Revenue Generation -Once you've established your community, ask for $

-Above all: start small and don't be afraid to make mistakes. 

For more details on building a social media presence and strategy, here are the links to both webinar presentations in PDF format:
Lauren Bacon- The Social Web for Skeptics
Amy Juschka - Social Media for Social Good - Establishing the Framework to get started

The audio recording of the webinar is available here


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