Using Social Media to Enhance Your Web Presence

>>Amy Page: Good afternoon or morning
depending on where you’re joining from. We are really glad to see everyone n the call today. Welcome to today’s webinar about using social media to enhance your
web presence. My name is Amy Page and I’m with the State Capacity Building Center
this webinar is part of the hot topics in consumer education website series
and is designed to bring you new information and resources in order to
help you enhance your consumer education website. The current webinar series runs
through next month and highlights topics that are mix of best practices and
required elements of consumer education websites. Our goal is to give you ways in
which you can enhance how families, child care providers, as well as other
stakeholders experience your website. I put the link to the webinar series in
the chat box so that you can access it, this link will
also take you to our resource page for where can access new resources on how to enhance your consumer education website. Throughout today’s webinar we’d like for
you to use the chat feature to type in any questions you have. Thank you
thanks to everyone for for typing in where you’re from, it looks like we have
great representation from all over the country. We will remind you throughout the
webinar to also include any questions that you have in the chat box, we may not
be able to address all of the questions during today’s call and so we will take
those questions sort through them then on next Thursday November 21st from 2:00 to 2:30 pm eastern time will answer as many questions as we can in an Ask Me
Anything webinar. If you happen to think of a question after today’s webinar, not to worry, you’ll be able to email those to us and we’ll have an email address for
you at the end of the webinar today, as well as in a follow-up email in order to
do that. Now I’d like to take a moment to introduce our presenters today. We are
really pleased to have to have Alice Murray and Joshua Delung who
are colleagues from ICF Next with us today to share information about social
media. Listed here on your screen are the objectives for our session today we will
be sharing information about implementing effective strategies for
use in social media. Also how to set up management process that will make sure
you have clearly defined responsibilities and appropriate user
expectations. We will cover how to develop content and create posts that support
your social media strategy and also talk a little bit about how to make sure your
posts are accessible, then to close we’ll look at how to effectively measure your
social media efforts and discuss common constraints that you may face in
developing them. Before we jump into the information we like to take an idea take
take a poll to get an idea of who we have on the call today. Listed here on your screen, should be
coming up or you should see a poll that just asks what your position or role is,
please take a moment to respond to this poll by choosing the role that best fits
you. If you don’t see an option that fits you well you can certainly let us know
that as well by using the chat box at the bottom of the screen. Give everyone
just another moment for their selection. Looks like a good
majority of you all are from state governments and then we have some
additional training and technical assistance folks. Great to see
someone from the state communication staff. Wonderful thanks so much for
taking the time to do that that helps us to know kind of who all we have on the
call today, we appreciate it. We want to take just a moment to reflect
on why social media matters especially related to your consumer education
websites. The primary reason is that families and other stakeholders are
using social media to stay informed and connect with organizations, as well as
each other. It’s really important to note that if done thoughtfully and
strategically states and territories can really leverage social media to
strengthen your consumer education activities by not
only driving traffic to your consumer education websites but also by adding
new more dynamic dimensions to your family and stakeholder engagement
efforts. In order to be successful and efficient your social media strategy
should be one part of your comprehensive communication and engagement plan. With
that it’s my pleasure to turn it over to Josh to share information about
developing a social media strategy, Josh.>>Josh: Yeah great thanks, Amy. So I’m gonna talk a little bit upfront
about defining your social media strategy before Alice jumps in to talk a
little bit about kind of selecting platforms to deploy tactics on social
media, and kind of managing and creating some of the content, but it’s really
important that you have a good foundational strategy in place first
before you jump into, “hey you know what it would be a really good idea if we had
a Facebook page or a Twitter handle.” It’s great to take a step back and really
think about what end or those means really aiming at, and what is
it that you really hope to achieve for your investment in social media so
that it’s focused and in the right place to have the best payoff for those
efforts. And so in defining your social media strategy, the first step and
perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the same with pretty much any kind of
marketing communications outreach you do, you really want to identify your target
audience and really get to know the segments that you’re going to be trying
to reach through any communication tactic, but especially with the social
media because there are so many platforms out there and so many
particular ways that you might be able to target different segments of your
audience and kind of your end users for your consumer education website. And so
when we talk about identifying the target audience you know I think
sometimes there’s a tendency to think, “well this is this is a broad
audience, there are a lot of different kinds of people who are
seeking child care out there,” and so the general public really is our target
audience, and I think I always caution people from thinking of the
general public as a target audience. It may be true that the majority of the
public could be a potential user for your consumer ed site, but it’s really
helpful to think about well what are the segments within that larger audience and
who are some real targets that we might want to look at who we feel like might
be right for reaching through social media. At the end of the day perhaps not
every single user that you may have may be appropriate to reach through
social media. Maybe other tactics that would work
better and so it’s really important to think about the target audience and who
exactly you’re looking for. So it may be, for example Millennials or Gen Z parents
of children and maybe people with certain socioeconomic backgrounds, and so
thinking through that can help you move into that next step of defining your
strategy which is really to set your goals. And to think about well what is it
we really want to help that audience do and where’s the happy medium between
helping them achieve, get a question answered or complete a task that they’ve
come to do, in a way that it’s also beneficial for our organization in
meeting meeting our goals and what we’re measured on to deliver those resources
to them. And so it’s a it’s kind of a great one-two punch of identifying the
right audience segments, setting goals based on what you want to achieve within
those audiences, and then you can finally move in to select the right social media
platforms for reaching them. And so I think there there may be a
tendency to look at well what are some of the biggest platforms we are
gonna get the most bang for our buck, were going to be able to get
really broad reach on on Facebook or Twitter, and those may be great platforms
for your audiences, if it’s the case that they probably are. But you may
also want to think about is reach really what we’re going for here, do we really
want some targeted engagement and good referral traffic back to our consumer
education website and could we achieve that through other more niche platforms.
So thinking about if you’re trying to reach a younger
audience of parents, perhaps who are seeking child care, might that be on you
know more niche platforms like TikTok or some of the
things that maybe don’t have as broad popularity, and out in the more general
public as things like Facebook and Twitter. And then finally of course the
most important part of the strategy is not just to do all the right things up
front but it’s to really follow through and determine the specific objectives
that you’re going to use to measure success along the way and so that that’s a real key part to this that you can’t forget,
is how will we know when we’re successful, what are the real key
performance indicators that we’re looking at, and we’re going to talk a
little bit more about measurement in a bit. It’s really important you know
to know what your objectives are before you go out there, before you kind of
throw all your content against the wall and to see what sticks. If that content
is targeted around specific calls to action, specific resources that you want
to promote, or things that you want to get people to do it’s a lot easier and
more efficient to then be able to develop and measure that content against
those objectives. So I mentioned about platform selection you got to
think about that pretty early. You want to think about you know the target
audiences we discussed and and what exactly they’re using that platform for.
Are they there to watch videos, are they there to get a word of mouth
research, and how do the features of that platform translate into some of the
objectives that we just talked about on the previous slide. So for example you
know if you’re really looking to kind of amplify your your voice as an
organization and you think about how different platforms support that and get
people perhaps linking from social media back into your website. If you
take a platform like Facebook or Twitter people can share your posts, it’s pretty
clear you know if they share or if they retweet where that post and that content
came from. What organization shared it and there’s a link there that
they can get back pretty easily to your website. If you think about maybe other
platforms like LinkedIn or Pinterest those platforms are great for other
reasons, they have other things that those platforms are used for there
are different features to those platforms that some of the other social
media channels may not offer, but they’re not as great right for for highlighting
links and getting people to come back to
something else from looking at the content, can it be done yeah, but most
people are kind of scrolling through just sort of looking at pictures and
keeping keep on scrolling, and maybe a little less likely to actually share
certain types of content. And so all you know it’s a lot of tactical
considerations at the end of the day and there’s a lot of potential details there,
but it’s really important to think about kind of the net-net of it is
does this platform have the features and and as people are here to use it for, do
those things align with the objectives that we’ve defined in our strategy. So this is a really really simplified
graphic that sort of explains how all these things align. So if you had a goal
of increasing consumer awareness of child care resources on your site, you
might have some of the following objectives, like that you want to make
sure you answer at least three questions from parents per month, you want to try
to increase your consumer education website traffic by a particular amount,
and you estimate that you should be able to reach 200 people per week with
factual content. These are not any sort of industry benchmarks or
guidelines, these are just numbers pulled out for the sake of illustration here,
but then what you can do is you can start to look at how different tactics
across multiple social media platforms might actually help you to achieve one
or more objectives. And so if you’re using a hashtag on Twitter that’s going
to help to let people find your content and the topics that you’re you’re
talking about and so that may help you with the objective of answering
questions from parents, but it’s also going to increase your reach because
people are going to see that hashtag, get curious start looking at posts with that
hashtag on them and so you’re gonna also be able to achieve objective three
through those means, as well. Creating kind of a matrix as you’re
thinking about your goals and objectives and which strategies and tactics you’re
going to map to each one is really helpful in helping you see where you can
gain efficiencies along the way. So I am going to stop here and hand off to Alice, and
she’s going to talk a bit about kind of the management of your social media
channels once you have that good foundational strategy in place, what some
of the best practices might look like for kind of monitoring and content
development and reporting along the way, and then she’s going to get a little bit
deeper into actually creating social media content that is effective and how
to make that accessible to many different audiences. And I’ll be back at
the end to talk about measurement. So Alice, take it away.
>>Alice: Thanks Josh. Yeah great overview of the strategy and how you want to start
thinking about things before you dive into the tactical, but hopefully this
next piece can help you think through okay where do I start,
once I have that strategy and have these ideas in mind about where I want to be
and what my goals are from being on social media. What do we start doing on
the implementation side. So the first thing to think about is clearly defining
responsibilities among your team and we’ll talk at the end about what you can
do if you don’t have a big team to work with and you’re trying to have a small
presence with just a few people in your office, but here’s some good questions to
think about or to ask yourself at the beginning when you’re figuring out how
your processes will work. so the first piece for social media would be the
content you have to have posts that will actively go out over the platforms that
you choose based on the criteria Josh just walked us through. So when you think
about developing the content sure you might not need to have a copywriter or a
graphic designer but someone will need to develop that content, who will be
doing that, and then we think about okay we’ve created the content but who can
look over that content afterwards to sort of give it a quality assurance or
check it off and give it a stamp of approval. So is there someone available
for doing that I think ideally it would be great if you could have that be
someone else who has not developed the content themselves, just to help you get
a gut check. You’re looking for things like typos but you’re also looking for
things like how will the audience perceive this message. It’s always good
to have second eyes but worst case scenario at least recognizing that these
are two separate jobs to do on two separate days,
something like that. Third, we think about actually getting that post live, so we
have content someone else has looked it over, we think it looks good to go,
who’s actually going to post that message and whether that means they’re
logging on to Facebook to post it or that they’re scheduling some content in
advance for your team that’s someone’s job along the way and it’s good to think
about where that fits into your daily tasks or fits into your team structure.
So here’s a few things to think about for the content development piece. Next
we can think about what happens when we do have content and it’s ready to go
live. How we’re going to monitor how that content is being received by our
audience on our platforms, and I think it’s good to think about these things
ahead of time so you can take a step back and realize you might need some
policies ,and I’ll talk a little bit more in depth about that later on. But it’s
good to think about who’s responsible for making those policies, how often do
you want someone to be checking your social media accounts, what types of
conversations do you want to allow, do you not want to allow, and how do you
respond to your users. You can also think about community building, so are you
going to engage with your audience, how are you going to engage with your
audience, what’s the tone you want to have when you do engage with your
audience, all of these things are good questions to ask yourself and also good
things to assign to people. Who’s the person who’s responding, do they know how
to respond, do they know who they can ask questions to if they have if something
pops up along the way. So we talked about developing our content and our content
has gone live and we know how we’re going to facilitate conversations around
our content, but then we need to report back on the content, and this is
something Josh touched on as well, that we’re hoping with a strategic social
media presence we have goals set and we’re measuring against those goals but
how do we know when to pull metrics and who’s pulling metrics and what we’re
really looking for so I think it’s good to take some time before you implement
your strategy to think about report generation. What’s the schedule for
reports, who should be reviewing the reports, and then ideally you want to
have some recommendations coming out of those reports. We don’t want to pull
numbers just to have numbers, we want to pull numbers to know how we
can improve. Wo who will think of those recommendations, provide those
recommendations, and then who will be able to put those things into action as
you move forward with your social media strategy over time. These are three broad
categories of responsibilities to think about and define as you set up your
social media presence so that everyone is prepared to make it a strategic
initiative that has a return for you. Just to dive a little bit more into that
user expectation policy piece that we touched on lightly under the the
monitoring. I think it’s important to define responsibilities there, but this
could also be a team discussion to begin with just so that you everyone is on the
same page about how you want this environment to run for all stakeholders,
which includes the people who are developing content, posting content, but
also your user base who are trying to get factual information about child care
resources. So things you could consider doing will be having a comment or post
policy drafting something as a team and making sure that’s accessible on the
social media platform to your users. This could be pretty simple, it might sound
daunting, but it’s just stating explicitly things that are not allowed.
Content or comments that are derogatory in some way towards other
users, maybe the use of negative language, etc. etc. Something else you might want to
think about depending on your platform selection is a direct message response.
So if you choose to go with a platform that has the ability for someone to send
you a direct message how do you want to respond to those people and how quickly
could you realistically respond to those people. Most platforms have an option
where you can set up an automated response, so you could do that ahead of
time before you really amp up your social media presence just so that
you’re setting clear expectations for your users. They get a response saying
thanks so much for reaching out we’ll get back to you within 72 hours, and that
might go along with your monitor and responsibilities really nicely. The third
thing is an internal piece so this might not be
consumer-facing, but great to have some guidelines in place for your staff or
for yourself when you think about how you want to monitor your presence moving
forward. It’s hard sometimes to force yourself to think about these what-ifs
beforehand, “you think I’ll tackle it when I get there,” but it can be a lot
less stressful when you see a negative comment or a concerning comment if you
have a protocol in place. This decision tree on the bottom right hand corner is
a very simplified example of something you could do to help yourself with those
in the moment decisions. So let’s say we have a comment coming from a user on a
post on our Facebook page. We can first assess okay is this comment positive in
nature or negative in nature, and if it’s positive in nature is someone sharing
information that’s factually accurate because if not that might change how I
want to respond to the comment. Even if they are factually accurate is this
something where I could add some value by responding to them further. If the
users saying something negative is it a one-off negative comment, is it a
different opinion, or someone who has a repeat history of posting things that
violate our policies. Thinking through all those different ideas ahead of time
can really help you feel confident in your monitoring decisions as you move
forward, and can help you empower other staff members who might be working with
you to make those decisions in the moment as well. So we just encourage you
to take a second to think about these things, set up some policies, and assign
some responsibilities before you get started. The next key piece of implementation is
actually creating that content that we talked about. That big content
development piece which can be a lot of fun and doesn’t have to be too scary. If
you start this before you actually get your pages up and running it can save
you a lot of time in the long run, and I think that that’s a common mistake
people make that they think well first I have to make the page and then I have to
make the content or first I have to build a following and then I’ll focus on
making my content, but we would actually recommend trying to build a small
content library as one of your first steps of implementation. There are some
simple content creation tools that you can use to do this, many free tools
available that don’t require expertise, we have some examples of those at the
end but, many of those tools have templates
involved. You can get free images that are available for public use and plug
them right into free tools with some sample templates so that you don’t have
to bring a lot of graphic design expertise, and can actually crank out a
few posts and various different sizes with some ease. You should also think
about in your content library how do I make posts I could use more than once.
Not every posts that you publish has to be brand new original content, you might
be able to make a post that you could use across multiple platforms, but you
also might be able to create a post that you could use more than once on the same
platform. This silly graphic here with the question marks is an example of
exactly that. Maybe you want to post this image every time you have a, “did you know” fun fact piece of content and you want to do that about once a week. And you can
think through how often you find it appropriate for your audience we’re
using imagery, but don’t be scared to sometimes fall back to some consistent
imagery in an evergreen library of content. Something else you can do ahead of time
that can really end up being a time saver in the end is thinking about an
editorial calendar. There’s a couple pieces involved here, again we have a
really simple example in the bottom right hand corner for you, and in this
example you can see that we’re actually considering multiple platforms and we’re
considering different days of the week and how things might align across a
whole month. I think a month is a good amount of time to be thinking about it
once but you can always customize that to one week, two weeks, two months
whatever works well for your personal processes in your office, but these are
really good considerations do we want to post once a week, do you want to post
once a month, how do we want to do our timing do we always post at noon, do we
vary that timing. We’d recommend trying to add some variety so that you can see
what performs best, but it’s always helpful to do that if you have some kind
of record or some kind of plan. So something as simple as putting a little
graphic on a few days across the month to remind yourself those the days we’re
going to post can really make a world of difference. There’s another element in
the editorial calendar as well that’s not just about the timing or frequency
of your posts, but actually how you want to space out your content itself. And
these pieces here, core messaging, community building, and timeliness
represent three broad buckets of content that we think that you can use to make
sure you have enough variety when you’re thinking about a prolonged period of
time or a prolonged social media presence. I’ll go a little bit more into
depth of examples of each one of these in a few moments, but the main idea is
that you want to be posting different things and you want to be posting
different things next to each other so that it’s not the same message three
times in a row and so that you can keep the audience interested and engaged in a
multitude of ways using all of the features available to you in your social
platform of choice. This is sort of a response to a common social media theory
called the rule of thirds, which says that you want to be engaging with your
audience, you want to be promoting something to your audience, and you also
want to be sharing things with audience. So let’s make it a little bit
more concrete, with core messaging this might be links to resources, links to
your consumer education website, some factual content that you want to share
with people or even just a statement reiteration of your mission statement so
this kind of the the bones of who you are and why you have a social media
presence. What is your goal, how do you communicate that to people, and how do
you get the most important information out to them. You definitely want to have
this in your social media presence this is as I said sort of the reason that you
have that presence, but we don’t want people to get lost in thinking this is
all they should post because there’s a lot a lot of elements to social media as
a communication strategy that can help elevate these posts as well. So here’s
one type which as I said might involve links and facts, another type of content
you can think about is community building content, so maybe you want to be
trying to start a conversation with some of your users this could involve asking
questions of your users either to have them respond in the comments or as in
this sample post here using a poll feature within a platform. You could also
consider featuring user content maybe sharing a question they’ve asked you to
ask other people to weigh in on, sharing a picture that they’ve given you
permission to repost etc., and these posts can really keep people engaged and
remind them that they can be interacting with real people online and having high
quality interactions and that in turn ends up elevating things like links to
your website. The third piece of content that we’d like to suggest you consider
would be content that’s sort of time dependent, and the most common way to
think about this is observance days so happy new year, happy Valentine’s Day,
happy week of the young child, you can choose obscure observances or really
generic observances depending on your audience or your target group.You can
also think about having an element of seasonality to some of your content, maybe in the winter months if you live somewhere where it gets really cold, you want to be sharing some content about how to keep your children bundled
up and safe in the cold weather, and you can also think about trends and when you are
timing this content. Is something making the news around you that will be
interesting to incorporate into some of your contact development? Have you
noticed that there’s an internet trend in terms of the format of content or a
type of image that people are sharing that you could capitalize on in the
moment. This is a third type of content that can really help keep things
relevant for your audience keep them engaged coming back to your account. So once we’ve thought about, you know we
set our strategy as Josh said, we’ve assigned some responsibilities really
defined people’s roles and we’ve developed some core content, figured out
how we’re going to disseminate that, and have a plan with our content library. How
do we make sure that that content can be accessed by everyone who comes to our
social media sites, and accessibility on social media is important not just
because it’s federally mandated but also because you want to reach to your full
audience and not accidentally segment some of those people. A couple of methods for achieving accessibility on social media as I’m sure you’re aware social
media is a really rapidly changing environment so you’ll find that the
tools that are accessible to you the features that are available on various
platforms changes quite frequently, which is why we have some formal ways you know., features that are currently in existence as well as some workarounds that are
really great to keep in the back of your mind if you’re ever unsure of how to
navigate the platform. We’ll start talking about those formal
ways to make your social media content accessible. So alternative text often
called alt text is just a body of text that is attached to an image so that
screen readers will pick up on it and read that out loud to users who might
not be able to read their screen themselves. This text is usually not
something that you can see on the post as you scroll through a social media
platform it’s something that’s encoded into the backend and although it sounds
kind of complicated many platforms have ways you to incorporate alt text as you
create your post an Instagram for example this involves clicking into
advanced settings and on Twitter there’s a toggle you have to choose. You can
always google the latest updates from different platforms and how they allow
you to put alt text into your posts. So that’s an option especially if you’re
posting on you know Facebook, Twitter, Instagram themselves you can consider
writing a couple of sentences to describe the image that you’re posting
and putting them in through your posting process. If you decide that you’d prefer
to use a third-party tool to do that maybe you want to schedule your content
in advance so you don’t want to log on to Twitter at ten o’clock on a Tuesday
when you have on your editorial calendar that you’ll be tweeting. There are some
third-party tools that will let you add alt text to your images as you schedule
them in advance. TweetDeck is an example they are owned
by Twitter, but it is a separate website login and there you can schedule a tweet
to go out next week and you can make sure that alt text will be attached to
that tweet when it does go out. HootSuite also has a free trial option and a free
an ongoing free option and does allow you to add alt text for some platforms
as well as I mentioned before the landscape is changing quite quickly, and
especially with third-party tools it’s pretty dependent on how they communicate
with the social media platforms and that can change over time. So I would
recommend looking into the tools and if you are talking to someone about a tool
asking the question of what what features they have for
accessibility. These are just a couple of examples of many tools that have many
different formats. I think informal methods for achieving accessibility
though are a really important tool to have in your back pocket. So if for some
reason you’re having trouble using the formal features available to your
third-party tool or some all of a sudden the platform changes the button
that you have to click to add your alt text maybe you want to think about some
of these other methods that are really pretty foolproof, you can always add
these. So a good thing to ask yourself is does this caption make sense without the
image or video, so if you think about someone who is using a screen reader to
access your content and a screen reader just read to them the words that you
wrote would the user get the full message behind the post or is there
something about the image that really is integral so that I’m getting that
message, and if you realize that that’s the case maybe you just need to alter,
add, expand that caption. Asking yourself what the core message behind the post
can really help you gut check if you’re including the right information in
written text. You can also add explicit alt text within your caption, so option
one it’s you know just make the caption a little bit longer; make the caption
very clear. Option two is you can have your normal caption and then below you
can write image description and then fully call out what the image is saying
or alt text and fully call it out and this is different than the first option
because it’s it’s visible to everybody so even someone who’s not using the
screen reader will be able to see this within their social media feed, but it’s
actually become quite common and is seen as a positive because it indicates your
commitment to accessibility so that’s always an option if you find that doing
it in the back end is too complicated. It’s also important to think about
adding caption files to any videos you post. YouTube has a native feature that
will add a caption file for you. Occasionally they get a couple of words
wrong, but they’ve gotten more and more accurate over time and if you get
formalized videos from any sources that you want to post you can just look for
an SRT file that you upload, as well, and another thing that
there’s plenty of instruction about online but it’s a good reminder to think
about that. And finally we have this cross posting option for informal
accessibility. So before we were talking about how do we make the written piece
of our post the most accessible for the most people, and now we can just think
about overall with the post, how do we ensure that the most people possible
have access to this content and cross posting is the easiest way to do that, it
just means delivering the same content via more than one medium. This obviously
depends on the strategy you outline for yourself at the beginning and if you are
going to have a social media presence on more than one platform, but if you do if
we go back to Josh’s initial questions about what is this platform good for,
what is this platform good at, how do people access content on this platform.
Maybe on Instagram, which is more visual content you realized that people who use
screen readers to access social media content might not be on Instagram or
might have a harder time accessing Instagram content. Could you take your
Instagram post and also put it on Facebook, which would help you access
those people and help you make sure they understand the message as well. So those
are just some informal strategies that you can deploy to solve for
accessibility in social media. A few small specific tips, as well, this is a
really good fun fact hashtags, a lot of people will write them as one long word
with no capitalization within there and doing something as simple as
capitalizing the first letter of each word within your hashtag can help both
users and screen readers delineate what the hashtag says and does not take away
from the functionality of the hashtag. So although you cannot include spaces and
hashtags you can capitalize different letters and it will work the same as any
other hashtag and link to all hashtags that use that word. So the example here
says quality matters with the Q and the M capitalized it’s much easier to read
that than it would be if there were no capitalization.
This is called camel case because the capitalized first letter looks like a
hump on a camel and helps provide that spacing of words without the use of the
spacebar. You can also use warm intro links that basically just means calling
out the traditional format, for that would be with brackets and all capital
letters calling out what is coming up, if you imagine using a screen reader it
would say to the person and here’s a link so it lets them know what they
should be doing to access the content within your message. You can also do this
for something like a video so it would just say video and all caps it’s
essentially introducing the next piece of your tweet that is going to, or your
message, it’s going to take you away from the initial social media message so you
can see at any example at the bottom of your screen. And the last really specific
tip is to go light on emojis, screen readers actually read every single emoji
out loud and some emojis have long descriptions so even though to the naked
eye the two emojis don’t take up that much space someone who’s using a screen
reader is going to hear laughing crying face, laughing crying face, over and over
for every time you’re using it especially if you’ve a string of
different emojis. So one is fine but we wouldn’t recommend using too many emojis
per message in order to keep your messaging accessible. So now that we’ve
talked about tactically how to start implementing a social media strategy
from assigning the responsibilities, developing the content, scheduling or deploying the content, and making sure it’s successful when you do
so. I want to turn it back over to Josh to bring us back home when we think
about measuring against our goals, reporting, and improving on our processes.>>Josh: Yeah, so you’ve come up with a strategy,
you’ve done all the great work that Alice’s talk to you through in terms of
deploying and managing your content, but then how do you know whether or not it’s
actually being successful against the the goals that you define. So
measurements are a really important piece so you can you know to put
it quite simply, do do more of what’s working and less of what’s not over time
and continuously improve in order to get the most bang for your buck from
the time and effort that you put behind social media. So this is this is
definitely an oversimplification here, but really there are two big things to
think about in terms of measurement. You you really want to integrate, and
especially as we’re talking about the consumer education websites as our
context here, you really want to integrate your social media analytics
reporting with that from your website, whether you’re using Google or Adobe or
some other kind of analytics platform. And a big reason behind that is because
as you can see stated here about a quarter of referral traffic from
websites tends to come from social media, for those who are active and promoting
their website on social and so it’s important to look at your, both on
platform analytics that being the analytics provided to you by say
Facebook or Twitter or one of the other social media platforms. Those on platform
analytics are going to tell you about reach and engagement that’s happening
in terms of interactions with the actual content you’re posting on those channels,
but that’s not going to tell you well what happens once someone clicks a link
that I’ve shared on social media. And so that that’s a big important piece of
thinking about this in the context with your consumer ed website analytics, and
being able to look at how much traffic to our website really is being referred
by social media, which channels are being most successful. You could even you
use tracking URLs when you share links on social media to see which specific
posts are driving the most traffic to your website, and so there’s a lot of
potential here to really think about how do you use social media as a driver to
get more people engaged with the resources and provider searches and
things that you have on your consumer ed website. Likewise, you can also
drive people from your website to your social media channels if you’re doing a
lot of active moderation there, and going in and interacting and engaging with
users answering questions those sorts of things the website can also be a good
way to get people out to those perhaps more frequently updated channels that
you have on social media and so I think it’s it’s less common that you’re going
to drive a ton of traffic to your social media platforms via the website but
still an important part of the cycle to keep in mind. So I think to an important part of the
measurement aspect is to move beyond reporting, so what do I mean by that. What
I’m really talking about is don’t just generate a report every month that has a
bunch of numbers and data tables in it right, that data is actually
really useful but too often I think organizations kind of get into
this rote cycle where somebody’s exporting the analytics numbers from the
social media platforms and or from the website, they’re dumping them into a
report and they’re emailing them around every month to somebody, but nobody
really ever goes through the analysis and synthesis those need to figure out
what do we do with with these numbers. Yeah we can see if it went up or down
for a month a month but what does that mean. What’s driving that
and what actions should we take as an organization. And so it really helps to
go back to the goals that you set in your initial strategy and and look at
which metrics matter most essentially, and think about, sure reach is
great but based on the objectives we have is is actual engagement with a post
or a click-through to our web site is that more of an important metrics and
how many people that we reach. Would we rather have a high engagement
rate and reach fewer people, typically the answer to that question is yes, and
so think about it in context of your goals. Think about when you look at the
data what research questions do you have, can you ask some questions that you
see based on different patterns and anomalies and the data and then go back
and do more deep digging and research month to month to answer those
research questions. It’s always great to to contextualize the data that you’re
seeing, and so if you have someone on your team or a vendor who can look at
the data and really come up with actionable recommendations based on what
they see month to month or quarter to quarter in your social media and web
analytics, remembering that that you know they’re both kind of playing in context
with one another. That’s a big key important part
here that the data itself is just a piece of paper, but what are the actual
recommendations for what we do about what we’re seeing, and so the report is a
great connective piece it’s a good touch point to have and it’s great
to have a scheduled reporting cycle in mind, whether that’s monthly or quarterly
depending on kind of how much content you’re putting out there and and and the
frequency is that you have resources available. It’s great to do the reporting
and get into that cadence, but it’s really really important that you
actually figure out what do we do with that data. And so what that begins to
look like is a process that follows kind of these five steps, which would be input,
output, insight, action, and outcomes. So the input would be the data that you get
either at the post level or at a more aggregate level across many posts for a
particular time period. The output from that you know is that you’re gonna
get the data whether that’s impressions or engagement rates whatever that might
be and then you use that to generate insights. So the example here is oh we’re
looking at a particular metric of impressions on our Facebook posts now
there are lots of other metrics. Impressions by impressions we mean you
know how many times did it load on a screen, we’re talking about reach.
There there are other metrics we can look at like like engagements and
engagement rate but using this example of impressions as the as the output from
that Facebook post data, an insight that we might gather from that is oh wow you
know what we saw way more impressions on weekdays than we did on the content that
was posted on weekends, and so suddenly you have that insight which can drive an
action, which it could simply just be, “oh you know what let’s take all those
weekend posts we had scheduled for next month and just shift them to week days
because they’re going to perform way better based on what we saw in the data.”
And the outcome of that is in the following month where you
that you see oh wow yep our impressions did go up it worked and so I think this
real simple kind of five-step process here shows how you can take one
particular piece of data think about it in terms of gleaning some insights and
then go out and test an action and see if the outcome is what you intended.
So that’s that’s kind of why reporting is important and how to approach it as
we wrap up here. There just a few common constraints that come up from time to
time when getting into deploying social media that Alice and I would like to
talk through just to make sure that perhaps some of the common questions
that folks have we might be able to address before we end. And so for if you
don’t have time or staff to address social media I think the key thing here
is you can start small you can go incrementally and you can play multiple
roles if you have to. It’s just a matter of you got a plan earlier and you know
you got to have some time between content creation and content approval
and content deployment. And so you don’t have to write the tweet 30
seconds before you’re going to send it out you can kind of come up with, as
Alice was showing earlier, an editorial calendar you can write some content in
advance and schedule it over time so that you’re always have something in the
hopper and you’re not worrying about having to rush minutes a minute. Will
there be trends and will there be kind of emerging things that happen from
time to time that require more real-time support, yeah but you don’t always have
to be in in that mode. One of the other areas that sometimes come up is
well we don’t have any budget and while it’s true that putting some paid
media and having some paid tools behind social can be really helpful it’s not
required there are a lot of third-party tools out there that have free versions.
HootSuite and Tailwind are examples of that, even Adobe and Canva offer free
content creation tools that can help you create images that look pretty good, and
then of course you know if you have partners who are willing to amplify your
content that can be a big help in getting the word out there and spanning
the reach of your posts without having to pay for ads behind them.
If you don’t have analytics, you can you can kind of compare your content
from month to month or quarter to quarter, you can get data directly from
the platforms and export it into an Excel spreadsheet and so I know this is
a common challenge sometimes where folks maybe don’t have web analytics set up.
You may not have access to some of those numbers but there’s a lot that you can
do within the platforms themselves to look into some of the analytics pieces
and track things using links or other link shorteners over time. And I
think the the consumer education playbook on social media that SCBC has
is also going to be a great resource for learning how to do some of those things
as well. And then of course states always have specific constraints, all
organizations do especially those at the the local, state, and federal level, and so
this is again where partners can come into play in a big way they can help you
really amplify the message, especially if you can give them kind of
a heads-up in advance just like you would scheduling content on your own
channels. If you can arm them with content and make it really easy on them
to share or just let them know that that you’re going to be posting things you’d
like them to amplify depending on what different constraints you have
about being able to moderate and respond to people. There’s all kinds of things
that pop up like this and at the end of the day you just have to find the
workarounds that work best for you, but partners is a big way to help do some of
that. Often we see that some organizations aren’t too keen on
spinning off yet another social media account, there’s a lot of reasons why that’s a good strategy sometimes to have a more unified
approach their pros and cons for sure, but if the social media platforms are
connected to a larger departmental or state account you can coordinate with
whoever owns that create a joint schedule for
content sharing. So going back to the editorial calendar idea working with
them to find out you know hey can I give you X number of posts per month about
the consumer education website, some of the resources we have on there to be
able to move forward with some of that content getting out and reaching the
right eyeballs. And so finally, leveraging social media in terms of
stakeholder resources, this piece as well can look at into consumer
education websites publicizing those and then cross post information and
announcements as well so cross posting is another option to look into here. If there’s information that’s updated frequently on the website that
would also be helpful to repurpose on social media channels, that’s another way
to save some time and effort and perhaps reach to different kinds of audiences
when you’re doing that. I’ll stop there and ask Alice if there were any other
thoughts on constraints or other ideas that you wanted to share before we turn
it back over to Amy.>>Alice: I think you did a great job covering
most of them Josh. I think yeah, the one thing I will reiterate is that if you
don’t have a full team to manage your social media presence it is still
possible to factor in time for reviews, it is still possible to dedicate some
time upfront, and then have things run smoothly in the future as Josh mentioned
so I I just wouldn’t be intimidated by doing it as a one-man show. It is totally
possible and available to you especially with the plethora of free tools that you
can leverage now. So many social media and digital communications tools operate
under a freemium model, where there is a free version and most of those accounts
the paid versions only apply when you’re trying to manage you know six different
accounts with 50 plus posts on each account per week, or something like that.
So especially if you want to have a small presence very possible to do
things in a low budget, low or small staff kind of way.>>Josh: Great thanks, Alice. I will pass it
back to you Amy, I believe we have another poll coming up.>>Amy: Great thanks so much Josh and Alice for sharing all of the information with us this afternoon. We
are gonna transition over to a couple of evaluation poll if you can just take a
moment to respond to this poll about today’s topic we would really appreciate
it. Just a couple more moments on this particular poll for everybody to select. Great thanks so much for your response.
And then our next poll also asks about whether or not you’re likely to use the
strategies that we talked about for your future work with your consumer education
website, and so again if you’ll just take a brief moment to respond to that as
well great thank you. Okay as we close out
this afternoon we just want to go ahead and let you know about a couple of
upcoming, due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the Ask Me Anything webinar
that we normally would have two weeks after the webinar will be moved up to
next Thursday November the 21st. It will be from 2:00 to 2:30 Eastern time. The
30 minute follow-up webinar will answer any questions that were raised again you
still have time to go ahead and submit those any questions you may have based
on the information from today in the chat box. We will also provide, you’ll see
there on the second bullet of your screen an email address that you can
send additional questions to, that you may come up with after after today’s
webinar is closed. But we will do our best during that 30-minute segment to
answer questions that you have as well as just have follow-up from the topics
of today’s webinar so we hope that you are able to join us. You’re not required
to register for that webinar but we will certainly welcome all of you to join us
next Thursday from 2:00 to 2:30, and then in looking
ahead to the consumer education webinar for the month of December it is going to
be based on branding your consumer education. It will address the importance
of branding and why it’s important to consider in your consumer education
website. We will focus on key aspects of branding and how it can improve the
overall look, as well as the user experience of your consumer education
websites. That will be held on December 12th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and then ask
me anything segment for that webinar will also be the following week due to
the holidays. So the registration link is available there at the bottom of the
screen it is also available on the consumer education webinar series
webpage. Finally the last poll that we would like to switch over to just ask if
there are any additional webinar topics that are of interest to you, as I
mentioned early on the December session on branding will close out the current
webinar series, but we are currently underway in development for additional
consumer education webinars after the first of the year so we’d love to hear
any feedback that you have on what other topics might be of interest. Feel free to
just type those into the chat box there on the screen, we would appreciate the
feedback. Okay, again if you think of any
that would be great topics we welcome those via email as well after the
webinar. These are links to where the consumer education
resources are housed on the early childhood technical assistance website
and then this is also information on the consumer education webinar series. The
link is again in the chat box and these are all of the resource guides or
playbooks that are currently available there.
Prior recordings of prior webinars and also the Ask Me Anything sessions are
available as well at that link. And Josh mentioned and we noted in the chat
earlier as well that a resource guide related to social media strategies will
be posted soon that is set to be posted by mid December. So please watch for that
information as well. It will have a lot of additional information on
recommendations for social media and helpful information on how you can
manage your social media process as well as monitoring policies. With that I would
just like to thank everyone for participating in the webinar
today, if you think of questions again after the webinar feel free to send them
to the address there on the screen [email protected] We
hope to see you on the ask me anything webinar next week on November 21st. We
will answer as many questions as you can about using social media to promote your
consumer education website. Thanks again for joining and enjoy the rest of your

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