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With social media being a relatively new channel in the world of global health and development as a tool to share information, to advocate, as a marketing mechanism, or as a public health intervention tool, measurement is always a struggle when the path has not been set ahead of you. Many in the field of global health and development have trouble knowing where to start when measuring their project or organization’s social media presence.
In October 2012, Beth Kanter came to speak to the Social Media for Global Health (SM4GH) working group, where she imparted much of her social media and measurement wisdom on the group. Many suggestions came out of the meeting for improving measurement around social media. One that stood out to the group was benchmarking to see what projects and organizations are doing in terms of their social media as a way to compare or form best practices.
With much thought and collaboration, SM4GH co-chair Amy Cotter, SM4GH member Lauren Alexanderson, and I came together to form the Social Media for Global Health and Development Benchmarking Survey to start to better understand the ways projects and organizations are using social media. The purpose of the survey is to gather information regarding current social media activities among projects and organizations working in the field of international development. The data will be analyzed and shared to assist projects and organizations in understanding their current capabilities and to aid in identifying opportunities for social media growth within projects and organizations.
All organizations and projects working in the global health and development sector are encouraged to fill out the brief survey. The collection of data from the survey is ongoing; however, preliminary results of the survey will be shared during the upcoming Social Media Week 2013 Washington, DC at Benchmarking: Stop Comparing Apples to Potatoes on February 22, 2013, from 2:30 – 4:00pm with a networking happy hour to follow.
This survey comes at a key time when social media is going from something everyone does to something people do strategically. In order to get the greatest benefit of social media we have to have the ability to measure effectiveness and this survey is the first step to a better understanding.