Q: How should I use social media to engage with young people in my programs?
A: While many youth workers realize that they need to ‘reach the kids where they’re at’, there are some that are concerned about advocating for or using social media themselves because of the perceived or potential dangers.
If your youth group age is over 13 (the minimum age for legally using Myspace and Facebook at the time of writing), you will definitely benefit from having a Facebook and/or Twitter page (because let’s be honest no one is on Myspace or Google+) to interact with your youth throughout the week.
Here are four reasons why:
- You can tell them about the BBQ at your house this weekend or the skating party next month. You can even use ‘events’ in Facebook to get RSVPs, give info and allow youth to invite their friends – especially those that might be on Facebook and Twitter but aren’t attending your groups or sessions.
- You can connect with them throughout the week. Keep up with changes in their lives (and probably in their appearance with regularly updating photos) and let them know you care by posting on their pages during the week between sessions. Plus, you can keep the discussion from the week’s session fresh in their minds.
- You’re providing an open forum and safe place for them to connect with each other on a ‘group’ page on Facebook or through Twitter. You moderate it and can help them with how to set privacy settings effectively.
- You can keep parents (well, the cool and hip ones on social media sites – or possibly the nervous and nosey ones) informed about what’s happening in your organization or groups.
Question: How do you use social media to engage with the youth in your programs? Share you experiences in the comments below.
You can also connect with us by:
- Signing up to receive our posts via email
- Following us on Twitter
- Liking us on Facebook
- Signing up to our RSS feed