Citizen Dialogue Centre | Programmatic Social Media Interventions
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Programmatic Social Media Interventions

This 8 phase process is designed to encompass all the elements required to execute a targeted and informed advocacy campaign – data collection, research and analysis, campaign strategy creation and execution with supporting material and technology, as well as ongoing measurement and evaluation.

Through empowering active citizens by providing relevant and trustworthy information and research, by curating, engaging and training dialogue activists, and by facilitating respectful dialogue, we can activate the community-led, groundswell solution that is required to make a significant impact in the quest for dignity, equality and freedom for all.

Phase 1

The Exploration phase investigates the likelihood for success of a social media advocacy and intervention program.  This initial phase will examine the relevant conversation in its entirety, thereby allowing us to be guided to the reality of the situation by data, rather than relying on pre constructed or gut-feel thematic approaches.

The first step of the exploration is the research and development of keywords and phrases, which contribute to the conversation related to the cause or topic of the project. To the extent that it is possible, we will include key local languages, colloquial slang and platform specific spelling.

These phrases are then used during data collection to capture the largest, most relevant pool of data possible, from public-domain social media, for analysis. This data set will then be analysed wholistically to produce a snapshot of the entire conversation.

This analysis is expressed through a combination of Analytic Units relevant to the macro goals of the project. Analytic Units are representations of the data through different filters eg. Volume Timeline & Content Sources; Topic Trends; Twitter – Potential Impressions, Top Mentions, Top Hashtags & Top Retweets; Geography; Interests; Engagement Times; Authors – Most Influential, Most Prolific & Posts per Day; Demographics – Age & Gender.

A full Exploration report will be delivered at the end of this phase. Relevant insights will be used to create content for use during phase 6 and 7 of this project.

Phase 2

The Opportunity Overview phase identifies macro conversation themes with engagement and advocacy potential and provides basic strategy outline recommendations.

Using the data analysed during the Exploration phase, macro conversation themes can be identified by studying conversation volumes, identifying drivers for increases in conversation and comparing these to off-line events relevant to the topic.

The insight gained in this phase will inform decisions regarding categorisation as well as focus areas for engagement or advocacy.

An Opportunity Overview report is delivered at the end of this phase with an overview of thematic observations. This insight driven report will complement the data driven Exploration report from phase 1 to ensure an informed and objective approach to phase 3.

Phase 3

The Categorisation phase is a directed data capture and classification process. It is aimed at dissecting the larger conversation, identified in the Exploration phase, into conversation streams relevant to the objective of the project.

The macro conversation themes identified in phase 2 serves as a guideline for the categories chosen. These conversations are then analysed in isolation from each other as well as comparatively to inform a deeper, insightful, and actionable understanding of the chosen advocacy topic.

By isolating conversations we are able to quantify the scope and reach of specific ideas and stigmas, as well as understand the cultural and community relevance of each. We are able to analyse growth trends of these categories, identify individual contributors as well as investigate the interests and engagement activity of groups of contributors.

A full Categorisation report is delivered at the end of this phase. This report forms the hard-data basis for the Engagement and Campaign Strategy phase.

Phase 4

The Themes and Narratives phase seeks to use the granular and empirical data gathered through the Categorisation phase to identify the main Conversation Themes and their individual Narratives.The Narratives are streams of conversation, specific ideas, prejudices, beliefs or ideologies. A Theme is a grouping of conversations around a similar idea or central topic.

Once we have identified the Themes and Narratives, we will explore these Themes in more depth, with a focus on achievable and desired narrative changes. Additional social media research, as well as traditional desktop research are used to flesh out the details of each Narrative to better understand the symptoms and causes, impact and opportunities for change.

A research and insight driven Themes and Narratives report is delivered at the end of this phase. This report forms the basis for our engagement strategy going forward and is used as a guide for our advocacy work.

Phase 5

The Vision for Change phase combines the data analysis and insights gathered from the first 4 phases of the process, to present tangible opportunities for advocacy and practical campaign objectives. This is considered the bridging phase between research and engagement.

This phase will present the possible advocacy opportunities we have identified for each of the Narratives. The suggestions in this phase are not limited by the budget, timeframe or resources available to the project specifically but rather looks at what kind of change – and indeed, how much change – is possible.

This phase also includes the final preparation for the Dialogue and Engagement components of the campaign. During the initial research phases we will identify specific contributors to the conversation:

– Influencers with their own communities of followers,

– Potential Dialogue Activists who will be provided training and support to ensure that they have the communication and information tools required to be effective, compassionate and informed activists, and

– Active Citizens who are passionate about creating better communities through better communication..

A high-level but comprehensive Vision for Change report is delivered at the end of this phase. This report serves as the foundation for the Engagement and Campaign Strategy Development.

Phase 6

The Strategy phase presents the full strategic plan for the engagements and campaigns for each of the selected Narratives. This will include Insight Distillation, Statements of Intent, Platform Usage, Campaign Architecture and Tactics as well as Roll Out Timelines and Milestones.

The Vision for Change report delivered at the end of phase 5 will contain advocacy and campaign opportunities for each of the Narratives in the entire conversation. Through consultation with our partners we will extract the most viable opportunities within the project scope – budget and time.

Campaign Architecture is built around these chosen opportunities which include content and campaign execution strategy, dialogue and engagement strategy and milestones as well as a full roll out calendar, specific goals and broader objectives.

Phase 7

This is the execution phase for the Engagement and Campaign Strategy created in phase 6. Campaign architecture will consist of a variety of mechanisms dependent of the stated project outcomes.

Campaign architecture designed in phase 6 will use a combination of approaches.

Some of key mechanisms we seek to employ are:

  • Direct Digital Advocacy
  • Influencer Networking
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Cluster Activism
  • Proprietary Dialogue Platform
  • Social Experiment Activations
  • Content Generation
  • Media Relations

Phase 8

Ongoing MM&E across all facets of the engagement and campaign are conducted through our central platform, resulting in a series of reports for presentation and discussion. With real-time and retrospective MM&E, overall campaign objectives are measured, specific Narrative & Theme KPIs are tracked and benchmarked, and both quantitative & qualitative community performance is observed. This approach also allows for in-campaign adjustments to specific strategies while identifying new opportunities to accelerate the intended outcomes.

We focus our review process on three areas of the campaign execution – Themes and Narratives, Community, and Overview. These areas are monitored and evaluated separately but feed into the next.

A short overview of each of these focus areas:

Themes and Narratives Review

MM&E in this focus area seeks to understand patterns of behaviour within each of the campaign Themes and Narratives – with a specific emphasis on the intended qualitative and quantitative changes. The learnings from our Monthly evaluation reports are implemented during the campaign execution. Monthly and Summary reports are benchmarked against campaign objectives and outcomes set in Phase 6 – with a particular focus on volume, tone and categorisation changes.

Community Review

A Social Media Panel approach to the MM&E for this focus area allows us to isolate and separately analyse the public domain social media data for Active Citizens, Influencers, and Dialogue Activists. This method provides detailed, historic and current, public domain, social media activity tracking for these individuals. We are able to more accurately assess each sub-group’s subject related engagements – how they have changed through the course of the campaign (volume, tone, reach, messaging etc), as well as what impact they have had on the broader ethnic and racial prejudice conversation in South Africa.


In order to quantify a longitudinal view on change as well as the reach and impact of the engagement, MM&E in this area is focused on the high-level campaign objectives. The monthly Overview reports also serve as a litmus test – determining whether an engagement has been a successful, requires further interventions, or needs to be re-considered and strategised before re-engaging.

The Monitoring, Measurement and Evaluation phase will commence on launch of the Engagement Campaign (Phase 7), and will run for the duration of the campaign.

An evaluation of each aspect of the engagement campaign will be compiled and presented through monthly MM&E Update Reports followed by a Full MM&E Report on completion of the initial engagement period – as not only a measurement of success, but also to provide critical learnings for future engagements and campaigns.