Data Analytics │Social Media and Digital Outreach
Harnessing social media for service delivery and to enhance social and behavioral research
Social media and digital outreach offer new opportunities for data collection and for improving service delivery. With a tap on a phone or tablet, users can provide key information and help agencies better understand how to partner with individuals to improve outcomes that matter for everyone. Yet working in this new realm offers significant challenges such as how to measure changes in behavior and how to expand the reach of campaigns beyond traditional platforms that are not used evenly across different demographic groups. AIR’s digital technologists and social media researchers work hand in hand with our clients to address these issues.
Featured AIR Projects
Working Together to Act Against AIDS. Since the launch of the CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative in 2009, AIR has been instrumental in developing and implementing campaigns, such as HIV Treatment Works, Let’s Stop HIV Together (in English and Spanish), One Conversation at a Time, and Start Talking. Stop HIV. AIR also led the CDC in establishing the initiative’s social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (with the CDC’s only branded Instagram account). AIR developed processes for creating biweekly, monthly, semiannual, and annual social media metrics reports to evaluate both quantitative and qualitative measures and assess progress toward annual goals. Learn more >>
Social Media Support for VetoViolence. For the CDC’s VetoViolence project, AIR created specific social media outreach strategies, content, and analyses to increase audience engagement and deliver reputable and usable prevention information. One effective strategy included hosting weeklong “Ask the Expert” forums on specific violence prevention topics on the initiative’s Facebook page. During these forums, AIR published additional posts and multimedia content and facilitated real-time conversations between the public and CDC experts in order to encourage heightened audience engagement. Following each forum, AIR collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative audience, post, and engagement data. Weeks in which forums were held showed higher levels of audience engagement (as measured by post reach, reactions, comments, and shares), as well as increases in new Facebook page fans compared to non-forum weeks. AIR also developed a model strategy for developing original, branded images for social media sharing; provided data analysis showing that social media posts with these images earned higher audience engagement than other posts; and cultivated a system for evaluating and optimizing cross-platform social media engagement activities. Learn more >>
Adaptive Text Messaging. Absenteeism in even the early school years has been associated with significant long-term risks for students. AIR and our partners from the University of Chicago, the North Carolina State University, and 2M are evaluating the use of text messaging to inform parents about the importance of regular student attendance and to increase parent engagement to reduce student absenteeism in elementary schools. This cutting-edge study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, uses a SMART (sequential multiple assignment randomized trials) design to evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptive text messaging intervention. Learn more >>
USAID Haiti Alliance for the Protection of Children Project. For USAID Haiti, AIR will examine and analyze popular broadcast media (e.g., radio) and specific platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to look at those influencing or following conversations on violence. AIR is translating unstructured conversations in natural language into a common data scheme with tags describing violent events and sentiments. The structured data will be made accessible via various formats, including visualizations of social networks, time series displays, charts, and graphs.