A friend is working on a social media presentation today for youth leaders and workers, and asked for input on four questions from a group of likeminded nerds.

As much as these apply to people in the youth work field today, they equally apply to the small business looking to use social media to be sustainable today.

Your social media game is always going to be your game, not mine, so make your own path, but maybe these insights will help guide your strategy.

1. What are the top three best things you think are important to do/ways to engage with young people socially?

Social media is just a slang word for what we call the Internet today. It’s a noisey kitchen where everyone else is trying to speak over you, and the newsfeed algorithms are already working against you, so on the off chance that you manage to post something that someone sees, let it matter. Let it have purpose and let it be deliberate. It’s more than possible that a photo of a coffee is not that.

2. What are the top three mistakes made by brands/churches/leaders socially that we can learn from?

  1. We think that everyone cares, it’s easier to assume they don’t.
  2. We think that everyone sees every post we make, they don’t. This matters if you’re posting with a narrative in mind, it’s more than likely the viewer of this post didn’t see the last one.
  3. We think that everyone knows what we know, and understand the context of our conversation. Assume your audience are the stupidest people on the planet but treat them with the upmost respect.
  4. Bonus tip: Organic (free/unpaid) reach for Facebook pages (not profiles) is dead. If you want to reach anyone it needs money on it.

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your social game, either personally or professionally?

Be less brand-y, and be more Josh-y.

4. Any traps for young players that can be easily avoided?

Don’t autopost to other networks. Each network is it’s own sphere, it’s own community, and it requires intimate attention, or none. The middle ground of auto-posting has a role in search engine optimisation, or in lubricating the flow of automation, but real community and real engagement isn’t auto posted.

Image Credits: Hans Vivek.