WJC 16th Plenary Assembly: “What do you do on social media and how can we grab your attention?”
As a university student, a member of “Gen Z,” and a person in 2021 – I engage with a wide variety of social media platforms every day. Whether it be waking up and opening my Instagram, logging into LinkedIn to share about a professional accomplishment, or checking Facebook for the latest events going on within my University campus.
Each day, I average of four hours on my phone. Much of that time is engaging on these social media platforms and talking to friends via text message, phone calls, video chats, and more. Did you know that the average “Gen Z” spends over 3 hours on social media alone each day?
Now, the question is clear: How do I and how does my organization reach my peers and me on each of these social media platforms. With thousands of posts, updates, and notifications popping up on our phone each day, it’s become ever more difficult to keep our attention.
Most important for you to know is that each social media platform today has its own purpose. The most common are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat. What you post, how you post, and even when you post are all important to consider.
Let’s break down each platform:
Facebook – Did you know that fewer and fewer young people are using Facebook today? With this knowledge, make sure that you are not only using Facebook as your form of social media posting. But if you’re going to – make sure to use loud and vibrant images, captions that are engaging, and utilize the platform for groups, events, and live videos.
Twitter – Undeniably, Twitter is an important platform today. It’s how the world shares news, tidbits, organizes, engages in digital diplomacy, and much more. But – my friends and I are scarcely on Twitter. And the University and high school students on Twitter today are using it for sports, gaming, and sharing humorous content. Make sure Twitter is also just another one of many ways you are sharing information with your audience.
Instagram – Instagram is key in the year 2021. The platform’s population is young, information can be shared in meaningful ways, infographics and visuals are being shared widely, and in the last year it has become a prominent and crucial way for young people to learn and activate.
TikTok – The newest and most quickly growing platform, and one to keep an eye on. Young people are flocking to the channel in rapid numbers, influencers are gaining tens of millions of “likes” and “followers” from even one post that goes “viral.” One of the biggest questions emerging today is how companies and organizations can emerge onto TikTok and it’s something I recommend so highly investing energy into.
LinkedIn – Of course, the professional social network. This platform is excellent for engaging individuals for internships, job opportunities, networking and so much more. Its niche is of the utmost importance, but it should not be receiving the normal updates you may think to share elsewhere.
With all this information in mind – what can we do to engage people like me, whether on University campuses, recently finished with degrees, or even high school students. I have a few pieces of advice:
Ensure your organization has a diverse set of social media platforms that are updated regularly.
Be creative and interactive when writing captions.
Provide useful and relevant information in a timely manner.
Create visually appealing pieces of content that a young person will want to share to their profile. This trend has become increasingly popular, especially on a platform such as Instagram, in which posts are being shared to stories, increasing the posts reach by thousands.
Create call to actions, with easy engagement. Be strategic in how you share news and create the want in a person to share it as well. In cliché of phrases, pull on their heart strings.
Social media is constantly evolving. The format in which Gen Z engage today may shift tomorrow. In 2022, a new platform may emerge and become the most crucial place to be active.
Never be afraid to experiment, push comfort boundaries, and create amazing content. But always remember, what is posted on social media lives forever!