Recently, I attended a Building Healthy Communities Youth Media Conference supported by the California Endowment in Los Angeles with the rest of the AccessLocal.Tv team. This conference brought together media journalists from across the state, helping us learn about important issues occurring statewide and showing us how to spread those messages through media. Out of four workshops that were offered on the second day, I chose to go to the “Social Media: Get your story trending now” workshop which was put on by Angela Kim, a social media expert. In this workshop, she taught us how to work with different social media platforms when publishing content.
Other than stressing that headlines are key, Kim taught us that posting your story on different social media platforms can really help put your story out there and to always add pictures to your story as most people look for a visual aspect when scrolling through their feed. When speaking about the actual article, she told us to ask ourselves who and where is your audience and will the article resonate with them. Ask yourself if you saw your article online, would you share it? When it comes to your profile on your social media platform, remember to keep it professional. Your bio should include a clear picture, a direct handle so people can easily locate you, a mission statement which includes your title if you have one, and a link that directly connects to your website. This workshop did a nice job of showing the best ways to upload content on each platform, including several tips for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. One of the final things Kim said which stuck with me was “build your audience when you don’t need it”. This gives local youth media reporters like me a chance to start connecting with people through social media. Little by little an audience starts growing while you grow as a journalist.
“Social media for publishers isn’t about just posting a link,” Kim responded when asked why it is important to upload content onto social media. “It is where you can share your stories and also connect with your audience to engage and build a community.”
The organization Sons and Brothers, who also spoke at the conference, use social media as their only form of communication to the world. Sons and Brothers, which was inspired by President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, is put together through organizations nationwide that are focused on making health and opportunity happen for America’s young people of color. Their platforms include their website, a website through the California Endowment, and social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“Thanks to social media, the speed at which news travels has changed significantly,” said Kim. “Stories in one town can be spread globally in just minutes and end up trending on social media.”
Locally, AccessLocal.Tv uses their Facebook page to promote the stories that are published each day.