Ever wondered what it is like to use social media for good? At Make The Change, we believe that as changemakers, we should not only be advocating for change offline but also online. Therefore, we came up with the programme called Social Media For Good; to teach youths that they can bring about change in the cyber world where voices can become very powerful.
On 20th and 25th May, we conducted our Social Media For Good workshop online with the girls from Girls’ Brigade. There are many ways to use social media for good, especially when there are several social media platforms readily available for the public. Rather than introducing a whole new platform for the youths, we settled for something familiar to them, which is Instagram. Along with the ability to create captivating visuals and impactful captions, Instagram can become a platform to advocate for positivity and to raise awareness about social issues and causes.
As the girls were not new to Instagram, we skipped the introduction of it and went straight into teaching them how to master the use of it. The girls learnt how to create a business profile on Instagram, how to optimise their account, and most importantly what kind of content to create in order to reach out to the public. As a saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, to be able to create visuals that speaks for the social cause you are advocating for leaves a more lasting impact on the public. Hence, along with the mastery of Instagram, we introduced to the girls the art of photography.
Photography is not restricted to only using a professional camera, with the current advanced technology, a phone camera is equally as useful as a DSLR when it comes to capturing photos. With the right skills and knowledge, you can maneuver your phone camera settings to achieve the same effects. The different techniques of photography were broken down into bitesize information for the girls to digest. Despite the online restrictions, the girls still showed interest towards the subject of photography and asked many questions via the chat option on Zoom. Some of them even shared different editing tools they used to edit their pictures and one of them was even a photography enthusiast! We were glad that the girls remained chatty on the chat function despite being shy.
After the teaching part, to implement what we have taught them, they were given a task to create an Instagram account to raise awareness of a social issue. The girls were then broken up into smaller groups to discuss and come up with their Instagram handle, bio, the social cause that they wanted to support, and a unique hashtag for their Instagram page. We were pleasantly surprised to see a variety of social issues that the girls are keen to advocate for, ranging from domestic abuse, gender inequality, diabetes, education rights to migrant workers. As the first session came to an end, we posted a challenge to the girls which was to run their Instagram accounts and post as many posts as they like advocating for their chosen social cause. The winning team would be able to receive a $10 Starbucks card per person! We hope that this incentive would motivate them to create amazing content for their Instagram pages.
We meet up with the girls again on the 25th to check up on their progress. We had seen the content they have created on their Instagram accounts and we were awed by their ability to create beautiful posts using Canva. Some even utilise the photography tips we taught to capture pictures representing their social cause. However, a challenge meant that there could only be 1 winner, so apart from the content that they have created, the girls were also judged based on how they run their Instagram account. Hence, they were given 30 minutes to come up with a short presentation on what they have learnt, what the areas of improvement, and what are the following steps after this challenge.
Despite the short time frame they had, the girls were able to come up with wonderful slides and some groups even when beyond to show us what they have done to engage followers and how they studied analytics to reach out to more followers. In the end, we could not help but award 2 groups with the Starbucks card as we were amazed with the hard work and effort they have put into running the Instagram account. We are also very proud and grateful for the remaining groups for putting in their best, all groups are winners in our hearts.
We hope that the girls from Girls’ Brigade were able to take away valuable insights from our Social Media For Good workshop and we hope that it has inspired them to become changemakers!