Social media platforms, especially Facebook, have rapidly gained in popularity for parenting and breastfeeding communities. In 2014 about 71% of adults used Facebook alone, and about a quarter of adults use other social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. The majority of adults that use social media will also use more than one networking site.
The primary reasons for parents to use social media are: 1) to get information, 2) to get emotional support, 3) and to a lesser extent to ask questions. It is primarily mothers who use Facebook, though fathers make up a sizable portion of the user base as well. La Leche League is a mother-to-mother support organization, and providing information and support making social media another communication tool for accomplishing our mission.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are much more than a place that people can read interesting articles. They are interactive tools that enable a broader conversation to take place. However, before we had such websites the conversations were still happening- it’s just that now they are made public and accessible to more people. This presents a unique opportunity and challenges for LLL to directly engage in, listen to and respond to conversations that we would otherwise not have access to.
What Is the goal for Leaders in using social media? Navigating the ins and outs of using social media in the digital age is not simple. Just as Leaders have been trained in communication skills for helping calls and leading meetings, so to do we need guidance on communicating through social media. In a way, those of us who have already been using social media are pioneers.
If anyone is interested in sharing her social media experience and wisdom please join our Area's Social Media conversation so that we can build off of each others’ collective knowledge. I’m looking for stories, lessons learned, and if you have some extra bandwidth - please consider joining the Area’s Digital Media Workgroup that aspires to draft a set of guidelines and training materials for Leaders in New York on the use of online media, including social media.
If you are interested in learning more, sharing your insights, or helping to draft Area guidelines, please contact Ava Zurita, Area Online Coordinator, at info@LLLNY.org .