When I talk people listen
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you have harnessed the power of social media for good. Starting off with a pretty smarmy title on this post, there’s also a good chance that I won’t pull it off. Hang in there with me for a few. I’m not talking about being that person who has “like, a million friends” on Facebook (shameless self-promotion!). I’m talking about using social media outlets effectively as an individual or organization changing the way the world works.
In a movement working toward both physical and emotional safety, social media might seem scary. There is little control over the public nature of content. Even Privacy Settings can change and zero out in an instant. Despite the challenges posed by this communication medium, I firmly believe that this is not a space we can avoid. Social media is the way of the world, and there is no turning back now.
Rather than avoiding it, or only educating on the dangers of it, I propose a warm, mindful embrace of all that this outlet has to offer. Bottom line—when you talk, don’t you want to know that people listen? Reach more people! Social media outlets famously promote what I like to call the ripple effect. When you post or tweet, it doesn’t stop at your friends and followers. They can share with their own circles and build the reach of your messaging.
Publishing for the universe: When you post something on a social media site, like Facebook or Twitter, it becomes content published in a public, openly accessible space. That means that if J.Q. Citizen does a Google search on the topic you posted, your voice will show up! Social media is a free way to publish online content and provide public education for the world.
Building your community: Social media is not just another way to send your message. Social media is a space for building new and existing relationships. Interact with people, converse, explore, and grow in your mission. Engage in conversation with others who are interested in your topic area, tell them about your events and help them to share theirs. Build the relationships that will also build community capacity to collaborate, educate, and intervene in violence.
Promoting your true mission: When using social media, remember why you do your good work. Most movement members joined because they are ready for sexual violence to be over. With that in mind, what do you want the world to look like? What are you for? Using social media to promote those ideals and positive framework provides a strong foundation for conversation and engagement.
For an example of the way that the NSVRC engages in social media campaigns, check out the “It’s time…to Tweet About It!” post from the SAAM blog. So, here's my question to you, faithful reader. When you post, do people listen? Or, even better, do they respond?