World AIDS Day 2020, Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact
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Twitter continues to be an important tool for the HIV community's communication and outreach activities. In our recent post on how to use Twitter to reach your community, Mpowerment Project Coordinator John Hamiga said, "Twitter is the BEST way to stay informed on HIV news. Because I use it so much, I'm always the first on the team to relay important new information on HIV prevention."
To hear more about how our colleagues are using Twitter effectively, we asked Anjana Padmanabhan, Senior Manager for Digital and Interactive Marketing at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), to share her expertise and recommendations.
Anjana Padmanabhan: We find that the types of content that do the best for us are:
When we post something more visual and interactive, we usually see an uptick in engagement (shares, clicks, comments). Typically the posts that perform the worst are posts that use a lot of acronyms or industry jargon, don't have an image, or have an image of a PowerPoint presentation taken at a conference. When posts are too technical/scientific in nature, we typically don't get as much engagement overall. However, we try to strike a balance—sometimes it's important to get information out there, even if it's only relevant to our partners/donors or others within the scientific community.
How do you track your social media activities and what does success look like?
AP: We track social media activities using Sprout Social and other benchmarking reports such as the annual M+R Report. Each month, we develop a digital report tracking all of our metrics from the previous month. We look at the full spectrum of our digital communications, including the number of website visits, open rates from our marketing emails, number of new followers, and – most importantly engagement on social media.
In the past, the number of new followers was an important measurement to evaluate success. These days, I think engagement with our content is far more important. We examine the kinds of content that people are liking, sharing, and commenting on. We also examine how long people are watching our videos and how many people unfollow us during a given period of time. Success is fluid and ever-changing, but we look at the industry standards from benchmark reports to align ourselves with where we are and we think we should be. Sprout Social also includes "comparison" analytics so that we can see how we measure up to others in our space. While these are not perfect metrics, they give us a sense of how we rank among others in our space, and help us refine our strategy further. We try not to get too caught up in competition – though some is healthy!
AP: My recommendations are:
AP: Twitter is a very valuable tool for disseminating information in real-time about EGPAF's global work to end AIDS in children. We use Twitter in a variety of ways, including:
Our goal is to position ourselves as a leader in the fight to end AIDS in children. EGPAF has an incredible legacy and evolving body of work, and we use Twitter to educate and inform our audiences of the incredible progress we've made for over 30 years – but also that our work in not done yet.
AP: Twitter is a useful tool for EGPAF to educate audiences, spur conversations, mobilize supporters, build community, and promote campaigns/initiatives. It helps us create authentic and honest dialogue with our supporters, as well as build trust and form genuine connections with our audiences. It also helps us understand how to best communicate with our audiences by getting to see how they interact with our content. Through that understanding we are able to tweak and refine our communications strategy.
To learn how you can launch, optimize, or evaluate your organization's Twitter profile, talk to an HIV.gov digital media specialist during a Virtual Office Hours appointment.