Katherine Maxwell-Rose Digital Communications Manager from IMIX, presented key tips for making an impact using social media, focussing on Twitter and Facebook. See the Social Media PowerPoint Slides here. The full video recording of the event can be accessed here.
We learned about the power of images and storytelling to engage, inspire, create an emotional connection, and motivate actions. Good heart-warming stories which share the universal human experience are most powerful but sometimes the shock of the hostile environment can also engage people to take action. It’s important to provide hope and signpost where or how to take action.
Great examples of use of imagery, story, video and hashtags were shared. Canva is an easy tool for flyers, banners, picture quotes etc. Be wary of overuse of stock photos of people but see Unsplash and Flickr for free photos if you need them.
Tips for success included the need to be timely, to know your audience so that you can make content relevant and spark interest, to keep things clear and simple (avoid technical jargon) and use the language of involvement – “Act now”, “Join us”, “Take part”. Also use interactive questions to encourage conversations.
There was emphasis on not engaging with trolls – See The Centre for Countering Hate Don’t feed the Trolls.
Facebook is particularly useful for building community, organising, events and for livestreaming. There are also opportunities for engaging with other local group pages to share with and engage new audiences. More than 4 posts a week is unnecessary as Facebook algorithms stop showing all posts to your audience.
Twitter is fast moving, provides breaking news stories and engages politicians, other organisations in the refugee support sector, and journalists. The right hashtag, links to news stories and tagging in others can increase impact. Good opportunities to join in bigger conversations by sharing stories on international days of action – eg International Women’s Day, World Poetry day etc. Worth looking at UN International Days and diarising these into your schedule. TweetDeck a good scheduling tool. Important to retweet with your own comment rather than just retweeting. Multiple tweets each day are fine.
Participant comment: “Thank you Katherine – this has been so useful!”