Since launching direct publishing on Youth Ki Awaaz, our focus has been to enable a larger community to tell stories on issues that matter. And while that heralded us in a new direction, we didn’t stop at that. Youth Ki Awaaz has fast become home to some of the best, most powerful writing on critical issues, especially in India. We recognised the importance of YKA users building their own communities and keeping up with what matters.
Hence, about a year ago, we silently added the ‘Follow’ feature across Youth Ki Awaaz user profiles with one aim: To help you amplify your stories and build a community of those who want to keep up with your writing.
Your stories can have a tremendous impact. They can have an even bigger impact if a community rallies behind them. Social media is cluttered with news and information flooding our timelines – with little or no focus on stories that actually need attention. Platforms like Facebook have often been criticised for algorithms that encourage the spread of fake news and burying quality writing on important issues. The ‘Follow’ feature cuts through that, and that is what makes it a meaningful add-on to the platform.
Just like any other follow feature, YKA’s follow feature helps you ‘subscribe’ to your favourite YKA users by hitting the ‘follow’ button on their profiles. Once you follow someone, their latest posts start showing up in your ‘Newsfeed‘ on YKA, and they also start receiving a weekly email digest with your latest posts from the previous week.
Apart from building your own community of readers, having a following on Youth Ki Awaaz helps you:
1. Build credibility: The more your followers, the more your readers know that you have an audience. It also acts as an incentive for people to follow you more.
2. Reach a wider audience: Your followers are much like your ‘first responders’ and the most likely to relate to and share your stories. They receive weekly updates and you’re always a part of their newsfeed – which makes sure your audience keeps growing.
3. It’s like having your own email list: Email is not dead. In fact, it’s the most personal and powerful form of social media. With the weekly emails reaching your followers, you make sure you’re reaching out and speaking to them in the most personal way possible.
So how do you build a good following on Youth Ki Awaaz?
1. Post regularly: While writing is a great habit to have, it’s even better when you do it regularly. Posting at least once a week, or a few times a month helps your followers hear from you more regularly. The more they hear from you, the more they amplify your stories.
2. Share your YKA profile on social media: Head to your profile on Youth Ki Awaaz and share it on your Facebook and Twitter. Encourage your friends to follow you on YKA and keep up with what you have to say on issues that matter.
3. Follow others: Read what others are writing and follow your favourite users on YKA. Every time you follow a user you encourage them to follow you back – hence building a mutual community and keeping up with each other’s work.
4. Seek feedback from your community: Ask your readers to let you know their feedback in the comments section. Take their constructive feedback seriously and interact with them by replying to them. The more active you are, the more your chances of building a strong community on YKA.
5. Most importantly, give people a reason to follow you: One of the biggest reasons YKA users follow others on the platform is the quality of their storytelling. This doesn’t mean you have to write beautifully or in the best way possible. It means you should always stay authentic and let your own voice come out in your posts.
Since the launch of the feature, we learned some very critical lessons about what it means for YKA users to follow each other. We hope you find it as meaningful.