The ShoutOut gang has returned from a weekend in Washington DC full of education, inspiration, knowledge and most importantly, fun! The National Young Feminist Leadership Conference 2015, hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation was filled with endless opportunities to inform and educate attendees about multiple different avenues of feminism.
I am personally a social media junkie, so I attended all of the panels about the power of media and how to use it for positive social change regarding gender equality. Social media is one of the best avenues to get a message across and to engage in meaningful dialogue with individuals from all around the world. This blog post will cover the important lessons I learned from these panels. These tips and tricks are useful to anyone aiming to use the power of social media as a tool for social change!
The first panel I attended on this topic was called, “Social Media: Beyond Hashtag Activism.” The panel speakers included social media gurus from Feminist Majority Foundation as well as current college students who strongly understand the world of social media. Here are some important takeaways from the panel:
The greatest strengths of using social media for feminist activism:
- It is free 🙂
- Social media can be used to voice perspectives that are often marginalized in everyday life
- It can build connections across the globe! When you post on a group Facebook page, that post is not just for your group or your university – people from around the world may be following and supporting you!
- You can speak with people inside their comfort zone. This can include wearing pajamas and being in the comfort of your own home
Tips and tricks for social media usage:
- When first starting a social media account for your organization, make sure to claim your organization’s name on ALL social media mediums! Even if you do not plan on using them, make sure you make the accounts so no one makes one with your organization’s name
- Keep it alive and going but do not get spammy. On Facebook, post about once per day. On Twitter, you can post a few times a day
- Make your media presence different from other groups that may be similar to you. Create your own unique identity
The next panel I attended was titled, “Media Training: Making Feminist Voices Heard.” Some key lessons I learned in this panel were:
- When posting online, make your post edgy and sharp, but also direct. Make sure you have a clear message
- Make sure you are inclusive. Feminism is for everybody! Inclusive language and topics are vital for your posts
- Find local or campus groups that you can team up with to get your message out
- Build relationships – online communication is great, but when possible, personal face-to-face relationships can amplify online relationships!
These tips are tricks are extremely helpful for feminists aiming to engage in social media usage. Another important tip: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. While it is often temping, internet trolls often post just to post. Be careful who you engage with, as sometimes dialogue with trolls may be a learning experience, other times, it is just not worth our time, effort and energy.
Now, time to get tweeting!