There’s more to social media than posting pictures and videos!

Over the past few months, Tobi has had the opportunity to work with Emma Darling, the Columban Communications Officer. Tobi believes social media is a huge force in today’s world and it can be used to raise awareness of specific causes and things we want people to engage in. Tobi reflects on some of the things she has explored with Emma so far.


Emma and I have been meeting on Zoom every Thursday to discuss different tasks that I could help her with. I really enjoy our meetings as it diversifies my time as a Faith in Action volunteer and it provides me with insight into how we can engage with our audiences.


The COP26 negotiations was a huge occasion that we, as Columbans, wanted to advertise, promote and inform people about. Columbans were helping to deliver ’24Hours for the Climate’ – an exciting 24 hour prayer vigil, designed to bring the voices of the voiceless to the negotiations. We wanted to showcase our time at COP26 and to tell people about what, and why we were present at COP26 and importantly, to advertise the vigil.

Emma gave me the task of researching hashtags and trending material around the COP26 and to create a number of social media posts that we could use over the course of our time in Glasgow. The posts and hashtags were split into three categories: ‘Pre-Cop hashtags/ captions’, ‘During COP26 hashtags/captions’ and hashtags/ captions to promote ’24 Hours for the Climate’.

I found this to be a good strategy it was less time-consuming thinking up ideas and text to post on the spot since they were already pre-thought!

Emma also introduced me to the RecurPost, an intuitive content manager and scheduler which she uses to schedule the Columban social media posts. She showed me how to pre-schedule our content for Twitter and Facebook. It was eye-opening to see the effort behind the posts you see on the social media and it makes you appreciative of the hard work behind the scenes.

My idea of social media has definitely expanded after doing this task and here are a few things I have learnt from it:

– I realised it takes a lot to conjure up creative ideas!
– I realised that there is way more to social media than just posting pictures and videos!
– There are certain hours in the day to post your content in order to achieve maximum engagement
– You can use a scheduler like the one Emma showed me called RecurPost
– You can’t just post as and when, it’s best to have a pre-planned ideas
– Seeking permission to use photos is very important
– Stock photos are great alternatives
– Being specific with your captions and ending with a call to action is a great way to keep people engaged


This is the Columban’s annual schools media competition and I was given the task of finding ways to promote it to the target audience on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Twitter and now TikTok.

During our weekly comms meeting, Emma and I were discussed different ways that we could get the details of the competition out to young people. I later thought about recording a little drama clip for our YouTube channel would be a great way of engaging young people. After writing the script, we were able to get two drama students from John Henry Newman Catholic College who acted it out amazingly. I brought our camera and camera stand with me ready to use but we ended up using the camera at the college as it had a mic on it. My overall experience at the college with the two drama students was positive as they showed a lot of enthusiasm which contributed to the success of the filming.


After the video was recorded and sent over to me it was time for me to edit it. Now admittedly, this is where I struggled the most. During our weekly Thursday Zoom meeting with Emma, we discussed different editing platforms we could use to put the videos together.

We discussed the properties of the video, it had to be short, cheery and informative and need to have a beginning, middle and end which in theory sounded easy, and simple, but in practice was actually much trickier than I perceived. I found that I had all these ideas, but was afraid to execute it because I wasn’t confident that I’d be able to navigate the tools I needed in order for it all to come into fruition.

I used IMovie on my laptop to edit the video and after weeks downloading, dragging, dropping, splitting clips, buffering and breakdowns (from me and my laptop!), the video was finally put together with sound and music and other fancy effects. This has since been uploaded to the Columban’s YouTube channel and used to promote this year’s competition.

Emma and I discussed other ways we could get this content seen by our target audience and we agreed I should set up the Columban’s TikTok account where I was able to creatively promote the competition to encourage engagement. In addition to this, Juliette and I have also set up a FIA volunteer Instagram account so people can follow our journey. We hope that when we finish as 2021-22 Faith in Action Volunteers, it will be passed down to the next volunteers and used in a similar way to capture their own journeys.

There's still time to enter our Columban Schools Media Competition, Columbans Britain's YouTube