Social Solutions for Climate Change: How to inspire action through social media
Sherry Nouraini, PhD
Sherry Nouraini, PhD is a Social Media Strategist, Marketing Instructor, lecturer, and Climate Change Communicator who lives in Southern California. Her rigorous scientific training and experience in marketing makes her uniquely qualified for data-driven and strategic communication, which she offers through her marketing business Captive Touch, and also by teaching Marketing via Social Media within the University of California system.
Do you have an important message to communicate with the world, but don’t know how? Are you a researcher, scientist, or environmentalist who has real solutions to affect global change and potentially turn things around? Publishing your research in scientific journals, magazines, and newspapers is great, but this information rarely gets in the hands of the greater population. The best way to reach the people of the world who have the power to affect real change in their daily lives and choices is through social media. Instructor, scientist, marketing expert, and author Sherry Nouraini, PhD, spent countless research hours reviewing how scientists and activists use social media for outreach, and saw little sign of effectiveness in their efforts. Additional research and observations in conversations around the topic of climate change in the blogosphere and social media confirmed her suspicions, and ignited her desire to be part of the solution in her own way. Social Solutions for Climate Change is her contribution to further the cause of climate change communication and mitigation. Through stories, case studies, and detailed instructions on how to set up and maneuver around the most popular social media channels being used today, Dr. Nouraini details a clear path for anyone who has a message to share. Your message is your legacy, but it can only have an impact if it connects with an audience and inspires readers to action. If you have research, news, advice, or how-to tips to share with the world but are having trouble reaching people, this book is for you.
Obviously, with a nonexistent barrier to making and publishing videos comes the challenge of competing for your audience’s attention. To win this competition, use the strategies you learned in Chapter 3 for creating effective content: what works for written content also applies to video. In addition, communicating via video has its own inherent challenges that are outlined below, along with tactics you can employ to overcome them:
• Getting them to click “play.” Your first challenge is getting your audience to click the arrow symbol on your video to actually watch your content. Every video has a “thumbnail,” a cover image that is rendered when your video is shared online. A well-designed, clear, and concise thumbnail will increase your chances of getting your audience to view your videos.
• Getting them to stay. Your next challenge is to keep your viewers watching the video. The first five to ten seconds of your video are key to viewer retention. Make it engaging so that people want to keep watching. Video viewers decide early in their watching journey whether or not they want to complete the viewing of your video. One way to get people to stay is to make your original punchline points in the beginning and provide the supporting material in the remaining part of the video (4.7).
• Getting them to finish it. In this information age, consumers of Web content have a short attention span. If you can’t communicate your point within two to five minutes, they will click away from your video (4.7). You may be wondering how you can possibly communicate a big topic like climate change in less than five minutes! If you’ve had to write a scientific abstract, then you already have the skills to be concise. In addition, you have the option of breaking down your message into topic points and creating a short video for each point. Note that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you create content. Your blog articles, which tend to be more comprehensive than short videos, are a great source for the above mentioned “topic points.” Create the content once, and then repurpose it from text into images, a slideshow, an infograph, or a video.
• Keywords are important here too. If you spend the time and effort to create videos, you might as well set them up for discovery in a search engine. You have already done the work of finding keywords for your blog articles. You can use the same keywords in the title and description of your videos. It is also a great idea to upload a transcript of the video to the platform on which you are uploading the video, and create captions for your videos. Creating captions are especially important for a mobile audience or those who watch videos on Facebook, as captions allow the viewer to consume the content without sound: they could be anywhere, but they still can watch the video and absorb the message therein.
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