Meet them where they are at… on social media
Social Media plays a huge role in all our lives and even more so with teens young adults. Phone or no phone, active service or only WiFi, they will always connect. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and countless other apps always have the attention of our clients.
Teens don’t always have the ability to make phone calls or get texts. I haven’t met one who won’t find WiFi at least once throughout the day to check whichever social media platform is most important to them. Of course, some youth will text and the even more unique will prefer a phone call. Ask your clients what’s the best way to get a hold of them and how they would like you to contact them. You can give them ideas or even let them know some of the ways that you current use go connect with your client.
In short, some may not want to be “friends” or have you follow them and that is OK. You will have had more luck engaging and staying in contact with youth who you allow to stay in contact on their convenient platform. I currently have a youth who will only video chat through Facebook. Another only messages me on Instagram. I respect that she likes that type of engagement and I use it to stay connected on their level.
Get ready for an expert level engagement tool for your social work toolbox. Have no earthly idea about a specific social media platform? Use it as an excuse to have them teach you about it. The faceswap feature on Snapchat is hysterical. He helped to to create my profile and showed me some of the basics. As a result, it helped us to build our rapport and ongoing engagement.