California Educator

August/September 2023

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Building Your Social Media Toolbox By Elizabeth Barcelos The Power of Memes (Part 1) W H E N E V E R I T E L L someone about my job as a social media manager, I'm often asked things like, "How do you think of what to post?" or "Where do you your ideas come from?" Over the years, I've built what I like to call my content toolbox: a collection of communications tools that work for every social media platform. They 're changing all the time, but what sticks with people and makes them pause instead of scrolling onward is consistent and translates across platforms. This issue, we'll walk through how you can add memes to your content toolbox. Memes aren't just something funny you chuckle at and send to your group chat. They 're images with a language of their own that really are worth a thousand words. On platforms where brevity is key to getting your message across, they can be a valuable tool. Done well, memes can be a great way to drive engagement to your social media pages. Once you understand the lan- guage of memes, it doesn't take much work to create content that people will want to share. Let's look at some examples. Using Memes to Get a Message Out Quickly One of the things I love about memes is that because they 're funny, they can take the sting out of getting folks to change their online behavior. I'm very big on using hashtags correctly, but I don't like scolding people who are trying but don't know the right hashtag. When this happened at CTA Summer Institute last year, I threw together this quick meme to fix it. When I say quick, I mean it. I used a meme gener- ator (I like to create this and shared it to our social media platforms in less than 15 minutes. After sharing it in a few Facebook groups and sending it to a handful of folks I already knew were at Summer Institute, word got out fast — faster than if I had tried to track down everyone posting about Summer Insti- tute myself. People started using the right hashtag without feeling like they 'd been scolded by a cranky social media manager. 30 Feature

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