Social media platforms are great ways to promote endangered, indigenous and other marginalized languages, mainly for two reasons: a) As most social media hubs like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat already have a good user base, one does not need to invest too much to promote their content, b) Most of the popular social media are managed by big corporations or at least by startups that are innovating every now and then to make their user experience better. It is important to make use of their great features optimally but securely. This toolkit consists of mostly open practices and methodologies, and some open educational resources on configuration settings.
1. Memes, funny videos, and more
Humor is a great audience engagement tool. Today, with the advent of Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the scope of storytelling is getting way bigger than we imagined a few years back. How do you make the best use of social media? There are actually hundreds of ways depending on which platform your target audience is in. Last year, Rising Voices initiated a unique campaign called Mother Language Meme during the International Mother Language Day. It brought people across the world to tweet with a meme. You probably would have read about the experiment on Snapchat that is helping people to share funny Snapchat video-messages using voice changer and AR-based video filters. See an example below:
This particular video features a morphed video that was created in no less than two–three minutes with a couple of retakes. It features a cat speaking in the Baleswari Odia dialect from Odisha, India. The video was created using Snapchat. There are plenty of tutorials on how to use Snapchat’s voice changer and video filters. Create something in your language, share with your friends and keep experimenting.
2. Contests, polls and quiz competition
Time-bound engagement models are generally quite engaging. For instance, create a contest/quiz asking people to answer a question with the wrong answer eliminating all those people that give the right answer. Questions can vary from meaning of words, or using different native-language words in a sentence. Incentives spice up such competitions. You can even do it for free. Publish short poems having names of the winners, tag them in those posts, and even go creative with open badges that you make for free.