Good social media is authentic. What makes social media work is actually having something to say.Steven Levitt
Chidi was taking some photos for one of her donors when Nicole, a young woman who had started to volunteer, asked, “will we put these on Facebook and Instagram?”. Chidi confessed that the girls’ club didn’t have social media. She had thought about it, but it just seemed like another task that she couldn’t take on.
Nicole said to her, “Don’t worry. I can take this on. I can set up the channels and put up these pictures tonight. Why don’t you check what I am doing and if you are happy I will keep going. Let’s see if we can tell more people about why they should get involved with our club!”.
Social media channels are amazing tools. They are designed to be simple and simpler than most websites. Any African woman can take their phone, snap a picture and tell the stories that we want to tell about youth work in Africa. It gives youth clubs an instant web presence and means that anyone, anywhere in the world, can learn more about your youth project.
Like every other form of communication we have discussed, you need to consider who your audience is. Different age groups and backgrounds of people favour different channels. You may find that the young people in your project only use TikTok, while their mothers only use Facebook. Your donors might be best reached through LinkedIn or Instagram.
This is another moment to return to your list of personas. Thinking about the people you want to tell about your youth club’s impact, what social media channels do you think they will use?
- Social media is a brilliant tool but takes a lot of time to maintain.
- If you want to engage local people, maybe you could ask one of the young people to do this (give her guidelines or say you want to approve posts before they go out). This gives them the chance to learn skills, act as leaders, and take the initiative. It also saves you lots of time!
- Don’t try to maintain a presence on every possible platform (e.g. Instagram, Facebook or TikTok): Pick one or two that you know you can commit to keeping updated (minimum of one post a week).
- Be very careful about putting minors on social media. You need to be careful about sharing identifying details of young people on social media, so that no one can work out precisely where they live, for example.
- Remember it is there forever. If in doubt about whether you are oversharing, or sharing something that could make someone uncomfortable now or in the future, don’t. It’s not worth it.
- Always ensure you have a young woman’s consent, and her parent’s consent if she is a child.
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