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Lessons from the USCA Social Media Lounge

Social Media LoungeThis year at the 2013 U.S. Conference on AIDS, our new media staff  is hosting the Social Media Lounge for attendees to gather, share experiences, and ask questions around new media tools and best practices for the HIV community.

We’ve had attendees from all across the country come in to chat. Here are a few themes and questions that we’ve heard so far in the lounge.

  1. Getting started with a communications strategy: Social Media Lounge attendees receive a worksheet of Forrester Research’s POST Strategy Exit Disclaimer: People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology. Often people jump to the shiny new tool, but it’s important to start with the audiences you’re trying to reach and meet them where they are. We also have copies of the NMAC Workbook “HIV Prevention Goes Social” Exit Disclaimer on hand which goes more in depth into social media planning
  2. Managing time/staff for social media: Many organizations have limited resources and time to dedicate to social media. We’ve shared some nifty tools out there to save time. For example, we use tweet scheduling in Hootsuite Exit Disclaimer to post tweets when we aren’t available to tweet them live. Hootsuite also gives a quick glance across social media channels without having to log in to each.
  3. Measuring and evaluating: Once a communications strategy is in place and measurement goals are set, we recommend taking the time to evaluate your efforts. Every evaluation is different based on what matters to an organization. We’ve given examples how we report and measure our social media, including guiding attendees to this blog post.

Our team has really enjoyed these conversations in the lounge that help us better understand the many ways that you, the HIV community, are using social media. Ramon Garcia of AltaMed Health Services commented “this is the conversation I wanted to have; I needed to talk to someone to bounce ideas off of.” We want to thank our  partners from NASTAD Exit Disclaimer and the API Wellness Center Exit Disclaimer who helped us provide technical assistance in the lounge this week. We are hosting the lounge through the end of the conference, so it’s not too late to stop by on Wednesday.

If you or your organization have a story that you’d like to share on the blog, let us know in the comments.

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