5 Tips For Using Social Media to Raise Awareness this #NSPW #WSPD14

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I had the honor of kicking off National Suicide Prevention Week #NSPW (September 8-14) by serving as guest expert on Suicide Prevention Social Media#SPSM chat! We had a fabulous conversation about how to use new media to build virtual advocacy campaigns based on my work with MSW@USC.

Social media is a great tool to raise awareness for a cause when used correctly!  #SPSM is an excellent example of that. Suicide Prevention Social Media Chat meets Sunday nights, 9pm CST . Their mission is to provide timely and engaging expertise in Suicide Prevention Social Media. Generated and curated for professional and public use.

A common question I get is, “HOW do I use social media to help raise awareness around Mental Health?” To get the desired impact, I tend follow a few guidelines. 

My 5 Tips For Using Social Media to Raise Awareness:

Tip 1: Plan early & in detail. Do your research first. Use data to see if a target audience exist. If not, how will you engage them? Make a plan.

Tip2: Two influencers are better than one. Join in solidarity w/ influencers & experts doing important work towards your cause. Collaboration is the key to bigger reach. Why not cross-promote while you’re at it? 

Tip3: Aim to GIVE before you GET. Ask how you can help influencers first & then follow through. I know that I get frustrated when I recieve a random pitch from someone I don’t know asking me to do something for them. Why in the world should I stop what I’m doing to help you? I find it’s much easier to kick-off a collaboration when I lean in and help promote thier work first. 

Tip4: Your site is a venue NOT a newspaper. Host events on your site based on awareness themes: start a blog carnival, Google Hangout, VLOG, podcast, a roundup of the best information in the space,  or resource sharing in one comprehensive space. Then supplent those timely events with tweet chats and real world action. 

Tip5: ALWAYS thank your participants, collaborators & supporters. Your job isn’t done until you do a final round of outreach to demonstrate your gratitude. That way you can check in and see how you can help them out and then build a futre forward support network.

Want a deep-dive description of how I plan my campaigns? Below you’ll find the #SPSM chat recap & all of the resources I shared in one comprehensive place:

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