Before coming to Bishkek I was thinking that Facebook was the most useful tool in social media to attract youth in agriculture. However, during the Social Media training under the coaching of Peter Casier I discovered that with Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Blogposts etc. I can be more effective. But why and how?
BBC has identified that most of the “likes” on Facebook “corporate” pages that use Facebook boosting services are fake, particularly since only 10% of your friends see what you share. If you want to advertise your project on social media, first identify your target group (e.g. government, farmers, donors, students etc.). It is not a good idea to use one single social media tool, like Facebook, for all target groups. Indeed, professionals are gathered on Linkedin, students are on Facebook and farmers read newspapers. Moreover, clarify what will be your target content (e.g. Scholarship or internship for students). Also, put something that can motivate people (e.g. limited spaces available for registration).
If you are able to give your best message to certain groups with 140 characters, then use Twitter. People usually are lazy to read long posts on Social Media, so Twitter can be the best tool for disseminating information. There you give the main message, without going into details, to which you add a link. If you made a mistake on Twitter, no worries, just be honest with your followers and acknowledge your mistake; #OhSh*t.
During the training I also discovered that with Blogposts I can have long-term results. If you post something on Facebook or Twitter people will see it only once and they will less likely get back to it. At the opposite, a blogpost stays visible online for a long time and people can find the blogpost via Google search engine. During #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus conference I wrote my first blogpost “And then I asked a question…” and saw the benefit of it. The purpose of this blog was to advertise #GCARD event and motivate people to ask questions. Result of it? I received lots of questions from my friends about the conference and attracted many followers on Twitter.
What was my other discovery? Sometimes professionals are not motivated to read lengthy messages or blogposts. By making a short video and by advertising it via YouTube/Vimeo, or by interviewing an expert and sharing it via Soundcloud, you can hook your audience more easily. Do you remember how many viewers Oppa Gangam Style video have?
That was America; the discovery of a land of new possibilities helped me to create an idea on how to improve my activities in attracting youth in Azerbaijan and advertise the benefits of Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) network in Azerbaijan. Do you want to know what will be my first step? Then re-read this blogpost again…
Nizami Imamverdiyev is YPARD Azerbaijan representative and one of the YPARD members selected to attend the GCARD3 regional consultations in Bishkek, included a social media training.