Tina Yesayan
Publication Date

"Social media operations are most effective when they are strategically incorporated as part of an organization's outreach, program design and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation efforts."

This guide from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) offers an overview of best practices used in social media for advocacy. It outlines strategies to incorporate social media into the activities of civil society organisations (CSOs) to promote democracy, human rights, governance, and greater citizen participation and transparent political processes. It is intended as a local capacity-building tool aimed at strengthening the ability of organisations to deliver greater impact. Realising the ever-changing landscape of social media, USAID here avoids focusing on details associated with individual social platforms, as there are many. Instead, the resource offers non-governmental organisations (NGOs) a solution on how to approach social media as a whole, no matter the platform, and how to reach their intended programmatic goals using the medium.

The guide offers an overview of the major global platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Plus, with tips on how NGOs can best use these platforms to reach their advocacy goals (pages 14-18). In light of its global scope, the guide has a section highlighting social platforms that are popular regionally where USAID has missions (pages 19-20). The guide offers an introduction on how to use analytics to measure the impact of social media in programming, plus an overview of what key performance indicators to analyse (pages 43-51). An entire chapter is dedicated to potential security and privacy risks that may come up as NGOs adopt social media (pages 53-55). The guide has close to 90 terms, and in the Flipbook version of the guide, users can link back and forth from the term to the page it is referenced on (pages 57-61). It also includes a list of online tools and resources that can help NGOs effectively use social media and stay engaged with the social good community around the world (pages 62-66). Six case studies at the back of the guide highlight different tools used by NGOs to achieve a particular goal. The case studies are also referenced throughout the guide, when applicable (pages 70-81). Throughout this guide are highlighted sections and links that feature helpful tips and tools for users seeking even more information about a certain topic.

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USAID website, January 5 2017.