Mulat Pinoy is a successful social media initiative from the Probe Media Foundation, Inc. (PMFI) - a nonprofit in the Philippines. Ever since its conception in 2009, Mulat Pinoy has been effectively using popular social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to rouse the youth’s awareness on various population issues in the Philippines.
In 2012 Mulat Pinoy was merged with another of PMFI's youth initiatives, Kabataan News Network (KNN), which trains young people in video production. Now Mulat Pinoy-KNN helps young people create their own news reports and documentaries on issues that matter to them, for distribution on social media.
Just recently, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with their project coordinator, Regina Layug-Rosero. Drawn from her five fruitful years of experience with Mulat Pinoy, she shared with me these simple lessons about the true potential of social media:
- Numbers aren’t everything
Not getting as much likes or followers like you’ve hoped? We shouldn’t be discouraged! One of the key insights that Regina shared with me was that the numbers, regardless of how low it may be, doesn’t discount your potential to help.
She shares “if you have 500 followers, then that’s your constituency. Those are still 500 people and you can help those 500”.
So, don’t fret and just keep at it. You’re still making a huge impact no matter how many likes you have!
- Take it from the bottom-up
Raising awareness about demographic issues among the youth isn’t a walk in the park. Aside from its wide scope of topics, Regina shares that it really isn’t something the youth would initially be interested in.
In response to that, she shares that for us to be effective it is an imperative to start by knowing what particular aspects of our advocacy our audience would like to know about. Of course, social media serves as the best tool to do this.
Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated at all! Regina shared that one of the best ways to do this is through Facebook Insights. Through knowing which of our Facebook posts are the most engaging, we’d also be able to know (or get a good clue) what particular topics our audience is most interested in.
Suggested Reading: Know Your Audience: Guide to Facebook Insights
- It’s not just for raising awareness
Lastly, aside from helping our advocacy/organization to be more visible, Regina shares that social media can also be a platform to help our organizations sustain our audience’s interest towards our cause, and most of all, empower them to act on it!
By using social media to broadcast Mulat Pinoy’s forums and events through Facebook and Twitter, Regina shares how social media allowed their audience to have an easily accessible avenue that can allow them to remotely participate in their events in real-time..
Regina further shares that their online audience was even more comfortable to ask questions about sensitive topics, such as those related to sex education, mainly because of the anonymity that social media can provide for them. This degree of openness was something that was particularly uncommon for their live audience, she shares.
As a final note, Regina kindly shared a simple reminder on how empowering social media is regardless of who you are or what your social standing is. Regina shares:
"Singers and politicians can inspire or demoralize, criticize or uplift hundreds, thousands, even millions with a single statement. On social media, you can do the same thing. And it doesn't matter if you have 5 million or 500 followers. Those are followers who are willing to listen to YOU. And if you have something important to say, whether you're a college student in Laoag or an NGO in Davao, you have the means to say it, and to a lot of people too, simply because you're on social media. Use this power, and it wisely."
*Pictures were taken from Mulat Pinoy's Facebook page.