Being Social: An Introductory Social Media Workshop

Social Media Workshop at Blackbird Leys Community Centre

I have been really enjoying working with The Conservation Volunteers on their social media content and was delighted to be invited to prepare and delivery a workshop on beginners social media skills, focusing on Facebook and Twitter.

The workshop was part of TCV’s ongoing People’s Health Trust‘s HealthStrong CIC funded project in Blackbird Leys, Oxfordshire. The People’s Health Trust believes in a society without health inequalities and working to ensure that where people live does not unfairly reduce the length of their life, or the quality of their health.

But how does using Facebook and Twitter help reduce health inequalities? The UK Government’s Digital Inclusion Strategy (updated December 2014) believes that reducing digital exclusion can help address many wider equality, social, health and well being issues such as isolation. 81% of people over 55 say being online makes them feel part of modern society and less lonely.

I was asked to deliver a workshop focusing on beginners social media skills, to help people to start to interact online. It seemed sensible to focus on Facebook and Twitter. These two social media platforms are currently the UK’s most popular, Facebook is predominately used for informal contact between family and friends and Twitter is great for following news as it breaks, live events and having real-time conversations.

It was very interesting to talk to the workshop participants about why they wanted to use social media and what concerned them about using it. Most people wanted keep in contact with people, but also wanted to use social media more effectively for promoting local causes or businesses. However, nearly all the participants were very concerned about online privacy and this was the main reason why they didn’t use social media more.

The first workshop took place in the well appointed computer room in the Blackbird Leys Community Centre, which meant the workshop format could alternate between PowerPoint presentation (participants were invited to ask questions at any time) and letting people put what they had just learned in to practice.

The workshop content was as follows:

What is Social Media
Why Use Facebook?
How to get Started (Signing up)
Your Facebook Profile
Finding Friends
Connecting and Sharing
Facebook Privacy
What is a Facebook Page?
What is a Facebook Group?
Facebook Jargon Buster

Why Use Twitter?
How to get Started (Signing up)
Your Twitter Feed
What is a Tweet?
Sending a Tweet
Finding People to Follow
How to get more connected on Twitter (interactions)
Direct Messages
Twitter Jargon Buster
Staying Social: Where can you find more help & information?

The content of the course was written to all have relevant local content and I thought it was particularly important to signpost participants to where they could find more help getting online in their local area.

I certainly learned a lot from writing the workshop material and enjoyed my first experience of running a training course. I hope the participants felt the same.

The content I am helping write for The Conservation Volunteers can be found on their Berkshire Facebook page and on their Berkshire Twitter account.

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