Do you want to be more effective in your digital advocacy?
I have led tens of digital campaigns that have impacted communities in Kenya directly and have been featured in national and global media.
Two of my digital campaigns got me an invitation to brief the UN Security Council on the progress of the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda in July 2019
I have been nominated for five awards for my activism including twice in a row for the Pulse Pan African Influencer of the Year Award.
Here are 10 main tips for effective digital advocacy;
- Define your niche; thematic interest and target audience. In a world that’s filled with deep inequalities, we always feel the need to speak about everything, and we should. But you want to play the long-term game with your advocacy, so, pick 1-2 topics and focus on becoming an expert at that.
- Decide which form of media you are comfortable sharing and that you are good at. You don’t have to create the media that’s trending e.g reels, TikTok videos, or twitter spaces. The secret is to find what works for you in the short and long term.
- Create your own platform. Initially, I used Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to educate people on human rights, peace and security but because these are my personal pages, I later own developed a dedicated web platform for my advocacy. Hence my first digital campaign was born – Beyond The Lines. Having your own platform also means more freedom for your work as social media platforms are constantly evolving.
- Continuously educate yourself on your chosen topics. Do this through reading research, reports and observing trends from other thought leaders in the same field. This will inform your ideas and comparative thoughts and analysis of your chosen topic.
- Share your work. it‘s quality over quantity. Focus on consistency. Keep publishing and stop obsessing over the numbers. I have a relatively small following on social media (about 2,200 on my most used platform – Instagram) but have reached 2M+ people through my work.
- Include people in your campaign/project by creating simple or low-effort tasks for volunteers. More hands mean more work gets done faster with a wider audience. Not only are you creating opportunities for other individuals to contribute to change which is the core of digital advocacy but also building a support team of people with shared values.
- Build in public. I cannot emphasize this enough. Building in public will grow your community and foster trust. If anyone is going to take action, they will do it because they know, believe, and trust in you
- Connect with different stakeholders related to your work both online and offline. This could be community leaders, NGOs, donors, and media houses/agencies who can amplify your work and enhance your credibility
- Engage and be genuine in your interactions! This is the most important aspect in my opinion. Social media may seem like a bunch of media moving around but in reality, it is real people behind screens looking for information, entertainment, or hope. If you can, find ways to connect in similar initiatives in person to build firm connections.
- Finally, have fun and trust the process. When I started my first digital initiative, I did not foresee it being so impactful and reaching a wider audience. I enjoyed writing and wanted to share what I was learning during my internship. I did not know as much as I know now. I did not get any recognition for it until a year or so later. Focus on doing the work and having fun at it.
Over the next weeks, I will delve deeper into each of these tips and share practical steps taken, lessons learned and mistakes I made that you should avoid. I will be sharing examples from my digital campaigns including Beyond The Lines, Kauli Zetu Mtaani, Mutual Aid Kenya, and others.
Do you have any tips to add or specific questions about the tips shared? Let me know in the comment section.
As always, share this with the youth activists in your network, and let’s learn together.