Social Media and the Changing Landscape of Youth Engagement

Content From: Januari McKay, B.A., Program Coordinator for the Health and Social Equity Department, Advocates for YouthPublished: April 07, 20152 min read


Friday, April 10, 2015 marks the third national observance of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the growing efforts of young people engaged in the response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

To support this year’s NYHAAD efforts, Advocates for Youth worked with NYHAAD Founding PartnersExit Disclaimer and NYHAAD Youth AmbassadorsExit Disclaimer to create a robust and engaging social media strategy to start new conversations around HIV and AIDS, create youth-friendly content, and showcase the engagement of young people. There is no question that social media plays an important part in any awareness campaign, and when you’re reaching out to young people social media plays an even larger part in outreach efforts.

An online toolkit is a great way to help organizations large and small craft their own social media strategy. Our Online Campaign toolkitExit Disclaimer is one example of what to include, such as helpful how-to tips, sample social media posts and other content to be a useful resource to NYHAAD organizers.

We also provided a way for young people everywhereExit Disclaimer to get involved with NYHAAD by taking a “selfieExit Disclaimer” with one of our “Young People Need” signsExit Disclaimer. By sharing what they believe is needed to live safe and healthy lives, young people take an active role in providing information to others, and have the ability to affect real change.

“Young people have a great deal to say about how we can achieve an AIDS-free generation,” said Hannah Loeb, NYHAAD Youth Ambassador, “NYHAAD gives us all a platform to share our voices while creating change in our communities.”

Advocates has learned that in spite of reports that young people are fleeing FacebookExit Disclaimer at an alarming rate, the website still has the highest number of daily usersExit Disclaimer of all social media platforms. Young people remain most engaged on this platform, as well as Instagram, meaning there is still value in posting relevant content on Facebook in order to engage young people.
Join the #NYHAAD Twitter Chat: April 8
On Wednesday, April 8 at 4pm ET., CDCNPIN (@CDCNPINExit Disclaimer) will host a Twitter Chat with us @YouthAIDSDayExit Disclaimer, Dr. Stephanie Zaza, Director of CDC's Division of Adolescent & School Health (@DrZazaCDCExit Disclaimer), (@AIDSgovExit Disclaimer) and MAC AIDS Fund (@MACAIDSFundExit Disclaimer) on the importance of including young people in the conversation about HIV/AIDS prevention. A Twitter chat allows users who are not ordinarily in each other’s circles to exchange insights, resources, and crowd source information. We invite you to join this conversation. You can also follow the conversation using the hashtag #NYHAADchatExit Disclaimer.

What social media tactics do you use to engage young people?