13 Tips on Using Social Media for Youth Organizing

October 16, 2015

This listicle is a part of our growing efforts to increase youth voice on the Hub. Stay tuned for more student-centered content (for students, by students) in the upcoming weeks!

final2On August 14-16, 2015, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation hosted its annual Youth Leadership Institute. This event brought together youth leaders, adult allies, educators, and community partners from across New England to promote student-centered learning approaches and develop knowledge and power for youth-led change. We asked youth to help us design these tips, and acknowledge them below.


Create a catchy slogan.

When you develop a memorable slogan, people are more likely to use it. Examples: “Be smart, don’t start”, “Reduce, reuse, recycle”, “If you see something, say something”.

Work as a team.

Mention other people in your posts, or have multiple people collaborate on a site to keep the momentum high for your group or idea.

Use social media to promote events.

Using tools people are already comfortable with using makes it easy to communicate events, manage attendees, and keep guests informed of any updates.

Share related posts from other organizations.

Sharing resources and other opportunities to support your movement is a great way to make friends, network, and make your cause stronger.

Design surveys to gauge interest.

Free online tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey can help you understand your audience. Polling your friends and supporters is a great way to understand how people are feeling, what your participants need, and how to make your group grow.

Keep it personal.

Most audiences want relatable stories. Be genuine, and show why you (personally) care. What has motivated you to advocate for your cause? The more “real” the stories, the more compelling the cause.

Use social media for (internal) organizing.

Social media is a great way to keep your team organized—use it to send updates, post meeting notes and photos, and remind people of upcoming deadlines/to-do’s.

Explain the importance of youth as changemakers.

Why do you think your voice is important? Share that with your friends. Find examples of youth making an impact in their communities. Inspire people to take action!

Be consistent.

Regular posts keep your social media content fresh, while preventing people from forgetting about your cause. Tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck can allow your group to schedule tweets ahead of time so you can prep ahead of time for ads about events, meeting reminders, or calls to action.

Use a lot of relevant hashtags.

Hashtags allow you join conversations from around the web, organize content by topic, and learn about other groups or people that care about similar things as you. Check out #SCLchat, #stuvoice, or #volunteer for inspiration.

Know your audience.

Are you trying to communicate with teens? Adults? Musicians? Athletes? Make sure your content is tailored to your audience. People are more likely to support a cause if they feel like the organizers are thinking carefully about them.

Define your online persona.

Be goofy, clever, curious. Authenticity and likability foster respect and trust. If your audience respects you as an organizer, they are more willing to pay attention and support you.

Media matters.

Use photos and video that are relevant to your cause. Visuals often make arguments more compelling. Your peers are more likely to take action and participate if they see people their age taking action too.

Thank you to our #YLI2015 youth contributors:

@sobarbossaa, @_santos1, @EBulger_rhs, @lilyybear_, @angellotto8, @angelika_raquel_xo, @brownie_bite27, @NyaWal_lia

Do you have a story to share? Connect with us here.


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