Over 130 conference attendees stopped by the "Social Media Lab." They received personal sessions with an HIV.gov or APHA social media expert, or attended mini sessions addressing popular social media topics.
Patrick Benko, Manager of Online Marketing for APHA, noted the change he has seen over the past few years, stating, “the profession is getting more sophisticated. In year one we were helping with password recovery. Now people are seeking us out for campaign building and organizational use.”Attendees came to the Lab with a wide range of questions and varying levels of social media experience. Two popular topics were planning ahead to save time and creating eye-catching visuals. Here is some of what we shared:
Plan your content via an editorial calendar. At HIV.gov we encourage modifying a template such as this free tool created by Lightbox Collaborative. We have found it to be very useful as a starting point, as it underscores the value of building social media into organizations’ broader communication strategy and goals.
Create strong visibility through great visuals. Templates are available to create images for a range of social media platforms, and you can search for images within the site (or upload your own) to create something engaging for your specific audience. Tools such as Canva are both flexible and easy to learn. Need to find that perfect image or icon? Consider using tools such as the Creative Commons search engine, Unsplash, Pexels, or the Noun Project .
We know that many people are still trying to figure out how to use digital tools to both manage and extend the reach of their work. Didn’t make it to the conference, but still want to take advantage of this type of help? We offer TA through social media labs and Virtual Office Hours with an HIV.gov social media expert.