The training course was held at the President’s International Award Scheme, PIA, as part of their responsibility to sensitize their members on the use of social media.
Speaking at the training session, the Executive Director National Youth Council, Lamin Darboe, said social media is the process of promoting or marketing an idea or information through social media sites like twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. by utilizing the social aspect of the web.
He said social media enables users to comment and interact on a much more personalized and dynamic level than through other means of marketing.
“Social media’s influence is extremely important to one’s ability to persuade others toward certain actions. Also social media influence and communication skills are closely related, as influencers use verbal and non-verbal communication to invoke reactions and thought from the people they target,” he said.
Darboe added that there was a need for an action in this regard, and therefore challenged the participants as an advocate to make best use of the opportunity provided by social media (networks) and use social media, laws and ethics to promote the work done at both individual and team level.
Speaking earlier, the chairperson of GAHA, Babucarr Kebbeh, said social media influence and communication skills are closely related as influencers use verbal and non-verbal communication to invoke reactions and thought from the people they target.
“Influential people possess personal charisma and other traits that help them influence others. They typically need strong interpersonal and group communication skills to inspire others and motivate them to action,” he said.
He pointed out that one-on-one skills are useful in coaching and developing individual employees, or inviting new members into a community group, and that group communication skills help a leader to inspire work teams and influence efficiently in group situations.
He said technological advancements have led to mutations in the way communication is done in different parts of the world, and activities and advocates are leveraging on the opportunities provided by social media networks to promote their work, and draw more attention to their causes.
Mr Kebbeh added that social media campaigns have become a significant aspect of the communication and marketing strategies of organizations, and even business.
He noted that messenges are more easily transmitted to a larger number of users within a short period, and this is usually done at no cost to the sender.
He added that there was a need to equip people in with the laws, principles in using these media, as they now become part of our daily lives, and they could not do much with them.
According to Mr Kebbeh, the two days training activity would not only focus on the use of social media campaign and advocacies, but would strengthen its wings to teach the participants on cyber laws and ethics, community outreach practices, report writing and a reflection on the statistics of Ebola in Africa and beyond.
He said GAHA-The Gambia has challenged itself today, and in the past years, in the nurturing and preparing its membership in the field of youth development.
“I am proud and happy to tell you that 90 per cent of our members are all engaged in offices, self-employment, the teaching field and others travel,” he said.
He added that 17 members are abroad either working or on further studies, and four of these have got married to another member.