SocialWorks is a tool designed to assist health care communicators create and implement a social media strategy for their health care campaigns. It is part of a suite of tools known as “Healthcommworks” (https://www.healthcommworks.org) developed by the CDC to assist public health communicators with public health communications. Of the two other tools in the suite, MessageWorks is a tool designed to assist in the crafting and defending of health care messages. ProofWorks is a tool designed to develop evaluation plans for public health campaigns. Go to the above URL to check them out. You can check out a short, skit based video on SocialWorks here. Search YouTube for “MessageWorks” or “Healthcommworks” to see videos on the MessageWorks tool.
SocialWorks is designed to assist in creating a social media strategy in an 8-step process of answering some basic questions about your goals, objectives, audience, budget and available fulltime employees, and also provides opportunity for customization of the strategy. With a lot of effort and input from experts in the field of healthcare and social media, we’ve arrived at an algorithm that works. It generates a list of ‘recommended, possible, and not-recommended” social media platforms based on user inputs.
SocialWorks is at least partly the reason this blog was started, although I’ve veered from that original intent. The early posts were in the very beginning of the process, wondering what was important for a social media strategy tool. I use the analogy of teaching someone to have conversations at a cocktail party. There are all sorts of strategic directions out there, and you can give someone all sorts of tips, but sooner or later, you have to go in and talk to people. The tool provides a great starting point for social media neophytes, to develop a legitmate strategic approach, and some tools and resources for those more skilled and experienced at social media.
Relatively speaking, social media is still in its infancy. Blogging surfaced in the late 1990s and continues to grow, Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter launched in 2006, all relatively new compared to the printing press. Establishing a presence on these platforms, particularly for health care organizations, is a new practice. There’s a whole new set of rules and practices being explored and discovered every day. I look forward to the growth and development of this tool.