Iris House: Reaching Women and Girls with a New Media Strategy
So, what did we learn?
- We quickly learned that although staff were very passionate about integrating social media into their work they did not always have the time to do it consistently. Therefore, there had to be further discussions on how to integrate programmatic efforts into overall agency use of social media.
- We also found that although a lot of young people were presumed to be on Facebook, they were not following our work, so we needed to revisit how to engage young girls through social media.
- We found success in engaging friends in content that we shared since many of our followers are not staff at AIDS service organizations or in the field of HIV.
- People were interested in reading new findings in HIV and loved to see pictures and videos of recent events at Iris House. Pictures and videos really get people's attention!
- Social media is forever evolving and how it's used changes frequently. Agencies have to dedicate time and resources to implement effective social media strategies and not just jump on. I have seen a lot of organizations with Facebook pages or Twitter accounts that go unused.
- Before creating these accounts and advertising them to your constituents, be sure to have a plan for who can post and the frequency you expect posts.
- Develop some formal and/or informal protocols on what can or should be posted. For example, one lesson we learned was that all staff who post should be aware of our views on religious holidays and how we recognize those holidays. These small things become important based on your followers and intended audience and need to be discussed while developing the strategy.
Have you developed a social media strategy? What are your lessons learned?