Monday, July 30, 2012

New Generation of Communication....

While attending a recent youth workshop on social media hosted by the SC Campaign's FABULOUS Health Communications Specialist Taylor Wilson, I learned a few things about the art of social media. My discoveries included:

1) As a blogger, I tend to RANT. If you look back at any of my previous blogs on Personal Perspectives, you’ll notice that I’m often motivated to write because something or someone has ticked me off (see my blog on lingerie football if you don’t believe me). Fortunately for me, RANTS are a type of blog content that drive social engagement. Today, however, I’m choosing to LIST and discuss TRENDS. See? I’m learning!

2) My daily tweet totals (at both @upstateSC and @nrnspartanburg) contributed to the 16,000 tweets-per-second in 2012. (Yes. That is SECONDS. As in 60 seconds in a minute which results in 960,000 tweets-per-minute which results in 57,600,000 in an hour which results in numbers larger than I care to calculate!).

3) Only 19.7% of the Facebook user-base is located in the United States. Hablas ingles, mi amigo?

4) Twitter makes people better writers. While I tend to think I’m an excellent writer already, any of my college professors could tell you I had trouble with fluff, embellishment, and excess in my writing. (Notice how I just used three words there that basically all mean the same thing? Yeah. The profs noticed it, too.) Twitter forces you to say what you need to say in 140 characters or less so you must learn to be concise. This, of course, also means that what SHOULD say “Welcome to Not Right Now Spartanburg! We’re glad you’ve decided to be part of this amazing teen pregnancy prevention initative to improve our community and look forward to seeing what you bring to our team” will end up saying “Welcome 2 NRN Sptbg. Glad u joined teen preg prev work 4 our community. Get 2 work.”

5) I am old. In the world of social media, those of us who didn’t GROW up with it have much more trouble KEEPING up with it. My 13-year old niece taught me things I could do on my i-pad that I’d never known about. My 11-year old nephew added a baseball game app that now keeps flashing at me to do something with it. Young people aren’t afraid to try out something new and, in fact, are often looking for the even-better next thing out there.

Why did I choose to share all of this with you? Because, as one incredibly smart Health Communications Specialist I know shared, if we aren’t bringing the issue of teen pregnancy to the social media realm, we will quickly make ourselves irrelevant. And one of the best ways to bring the issue to social media is by engaging our young people using that platform.

To learn a little more about the power of social media, check out this video: Then post a video of your own. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it to all of your followers. Blog about it yourself. Let’s keep the conversation going and meet young people where they are. I’m sure there’s an app for that.

by Dana Becker, Spartanburg Community Specialist for the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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