Recently, the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program received a Career Pathways grant to improve employment outcomes among transition-aged youth. The grant allowed Georgia VR to hire Tanya Wise, a Social Media Technologist, to build and maintain an online presence. According to Tanya, transition-aged youth are drawn to content that is relevant, inclusive, visual and ‘non-governmental’. Below we share Tanya’s insights on what makes effective and engaging posts for transition-aged youth.
Create relevant content
- Highlight a variety of jobs and careers to prompt youth to think about what fields may interest them.
- Share a quick tip on what should be included in a resume or something to keep in mind when interviewing.
- Post suggestions of places to volunteer to build work experience or information on local events such as job fairs.
- Make content fresh. If your audience gets bored or frustrated with your posts, they will fade away.
Create inclusive content:
Create content that applies to all transition-aged youth and supports the interests of your online community.
- Young people do not want to be singled out as having a disability.
- Strategize ways to include disability without featuring For example, highlight employers who have been recognized as having a diverse workforce or companies who are known to include people from diverse backgrounds in their marketing campaigns.
- Share “soft-skills” advice anyone can use.
Create content that is visually appealing
Users find visual content catchy and engaging.
- Transition-aged youth are increasingly using visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Know who your target audience is and what social media platforms they use.
- Create visuals for brief, self-contained tips such as “Make eye-contact”, “Shake hands” or “5 tips for getting to work on time”.
- Share inspirational postings. Platforms that share content about health and exercise can be a good place to find these types of posts.
Be sure your website, social media platforms and content aren’t too formal or ‘governmental’
If you are targeting transition-aged youth, your online presence shouldn’t drive away your audience.
- Your site should be easy to use and read with a cell phone.
- Generally, people won’t read and scroll through long paragraphs.
- Graphics are a great way to break up and navigate through text.
Once you have developed and implemented a social media strategy, be sure to evaluate if your posts are “on target” with your target audience. You can ask for individual opinions about the content or create a focus group comprised of transition-aged youth to review your online presence. Also, keep an eye on your social media analytics so you can evaluate content that resonates with your audience. Social media provides an opportunity for feedback about what is effective; an agency can easily change their approach and direction if their efforts are not engaging their target audience.
Photo credit: miguelavg via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND