Social media team gathers ahead of Forests Asia

Peter Casier facilitating a session with the team. 
(Credit Samuel Stacey)

Peter Casier facilitating a session with the team. (Credit Samuel Stacey)

A team of social media gurus and novices gathered at the Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel in Jakarta on May 3 to prepare for the impending Forests Asia conference.

The social media team assembled for the first part of a two-day training session on the various ways social media outlets can enhance public awareness of the conference, and the critical issues that will be covered in it.

The training session is being hosted by Peter Casier of the CGIAR Consortium Office. He led a group of 60 volunteers through the vast world of social media outlets — and how they can be most effectively used to reach and impact target audiences — using the “art of seduction”.

“Conversion”, or “encouraging social media users within your reach to follow links to your target content”, is most successful with a bit of teasing, says Casier.

An invaluable strategy for nonprofits seeking to improve their social media impact is knowing their audience and, according to Casier, no audience is more important than students.


The “seduction” method, one of the team’s topics during the training.
(Credit Laura Deal)

“Any nonprofit that doesn’t see students as the target audience,” asserted Casier, “has no future.”

Fortunately, the trainees included students from over twelve different Indonesian universities and academic institutions, as well as professionals and students from the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Peru, the Netherlands, and India.

Participants helped one another set up WordPress blogs, Twitter accounts, and Storify accounts to report on the conference proceedings. Throughout the session, the team deluged Twitter — using the #ForestsAsia and #SM (social media) tags — with comments on and summaries of the lessons learned that day.

The trainees will meet again today for the second half of the seminar. “The art of blogging” and “The twists of Twitter” sessions will dominate the agenda as the team makes its final preparations for the May 5-6 conference.

Follow the summit via the Forests Asia blog, the CIFOR Facebook page, and using the #ForestsAsia hashtag on Twitter.

Laura Deal is based in Bogor, Indonesia.

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