Social Media Use is a Critical Skill for Leaders today

Delivering a Talk on Effective Social Media Use for Leaders

Delivering a Talk on Effective Social Media Use for Leaders

The MasterCard Foundation Scholar’s Program  at Makerere University has identified Media Literacy as well as ethical and effective use of social media as critical skills for emerging leaders. This was the basis for inviting me to share with their scholars in two sessions during the Summer Leadership Camp 2016 covering effective social media use. What an honour it was share experiences with the upcoming leaders of our country.One would normally think that University students don’t need such training. But it has to be remembered that many of the students were never allowed to use mobile phones in schools, and therefore never received critical guidance before University.

Session#1 Participants

Session#1 : Social Media Etiquette in Progress

The sessions at the Summer Leadership Camp reaffirmed my commitment to providing structured activities for Media Literacy in Ugandan schools. I believe we urgently need to take steps to help our youths transition from naive consumers to critical, discerning, thoughtful and ethical users of social media. We need to work with them to develop their skills and knowledge to transform themselves from consumers to effective producers of Social Media Messages if they are to become successful in an interdependent, information driven digital world.

The first session I led covered the rationale of using social media as a leader, examples of productive use and the netiquette of social media (the dos and don’ts). This was concluded with an interactive Question and Answer session. Students’ questions included what do in case of cyber-bullying, when to block people, how to identify and deal scams etc. I was really impressed by the participation of students and how thoughtful they were. I also became more convinced of the need for such sessions with young people, many of whom have now begun interacting with the technology without any guidance on how to behave.

Samuka Island, where the SL Camp took place from.

Samuka Island, where the Summer Leadership Camp took place from.

The next session was hands on with social media tools. We started with the popular Facebook, posting on personal timelines, groups and pages. A couple of students were able to create accounts but a great majority was already using Facebook.

The real jewel was when we introduced them to Twitter. What a joy I felt to see many youths tweeting for the first time! Once we had covered hashtags and usernames, the rest simply fell into place as students applied their prior ICT knowledge to the new area.  Our hashtag #slcmak2016 was discussed and then created.

I am grateful to MasterCard Foundation Scholar Program@Makerere University for  providing me and youths an opportunity to share on this issue; and to Life Academy – Sweden ( for their guidance in developing a pilot project to develop these skills, starting with Mengo Senior School ( as a pilot.

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Kalema Golooba Ayub