Most people see social media as a channel to make more money, but Silvia Li Sam, the social media specialist at The XQ Institute, believes that social media can be used to make an impact on a larger scale. She’s now telling the stories of the unheard heroes of education.
Social media has always played a role to giving those who don’t have a voice a platform to share ideas freely. But while companies and influencers spend large budgets to reach a large audience, the average American ends up sending their stories into a void. Li Sam wants to highlight important stories about education and the people behind it. She wants to create new pathways to success for our young people. Today’s ideas and voices from students will shift how each of us learn and behave. With her skills, she wants to amplify the voices of unheard heroes in education because their stories matter.
There are few strategies that she hopes these unheard heroes can use to amplify their message in the noisy world of social media.
1) Be vulnerable. Don’t hold back
Take something broad and turn it into the very personal level. Though it’s hard to share your emotions, people relate to that.
Li Sam shared her story as an immigrant and how poverty defined who she is today. Growing up, she had to behave like an adult because her parents were so busy working multiple jobs. She had to do the tasks that the child of every immigrant has to do – translation, running errands, and taking care of family. Money was a huge issue and she felt so unlucky because life always just looked so complicated. But with time, she had never thought about the positive sides of her story. In Los Angeles, through her work at Yang Camp, a nonprofit that taught students about Lean Startup and design thinking, she met many students who were in the same position. If she had never shared her story with the students, they would have not felt comfortable, and never opened up.
2) Tell a story that only YOU can tell
Believe it or not, you are unique. We all have different experiences who define who we are. Share about your background, your aspirations, and what has been one of the happiest and saddest moments in your life. If you can be open, you can touch people in remarkable ways.
Li Sam wrote a post called: “The Hardest Question I’ve Tried to Answer – What Makes Me Happy?” In it, she shared how she went through depression and how she couldn’t answer this simple question. She had been doing things that she didn’t enjoy, and was putting others on top of her own priorities. This experience burned her down. Writing the post was a way for her to put out her feelings, and it helped her realize how many people related to it.
3) Ask your friends to share or retweet all at the same time
To reach an audience, get people to show your post some love. Social media is based on algorithms. The more it gets shared in a tight span, the more valuable and interesting it will look.
When Silvia ran the marketing for the first Latinx Startup Weekend, she reached millions of people organically by using this tactic. She created a list of contacts that could help her do that, and she asked them personally to do it at a certain time. Within a few hours, the hashtag went viral and it was trending in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Li Sam believes that, by using these tips, anyone can get their story heard. “Social media is a powerful tool and can go far beyond the cute pictures of dogs and top ten lists that dominate most social media feeds,” Li Sam states. “Change is coming and social media can be a huge catalyst.”
Press release prepared by Flux.LA, a digital marketing and PR agency in Los Angeles.
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