The Perak State Library, in collaboration with the Lincoln Corner Perak, brought the YSEALI (Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative) Digital Speaker Series to Perak for the very first time on Wednesday, April 12. Incepted in 2013, YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature programme to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.

A digital forum in the form of Google Hangout, featured Nicol Perez in the United States as the speaker with participants live streaming from Malaysia (Perak and Sarawak) and Jakarta. In Perak, it was hosted by Quest International University Perak (QIUP) with over 70 students of the campus and Institute of Teacher Education (IPG Ipoh Campus) in attendance.

Nicol Perez, a Bolivian-born marketing manager for Instagram, is the fifth U.S. youth observer to the United Nations. She shared her experiences helping underprivileged communities access needed resources and support.

In her presentation entitled, “Using Social Media 4 Social Good”, she explained on the impact causes can have using Facebook and Instagram. For instance, the Syrian toddler photo has been shared 1.5 million times and engaged 25 million people. It prompted a policy change in Canada.

According to Perez, social media strategy should not be all about likes, shares and comments. It should be about reaching goals that support your mission. Goals such as raising awareness, recruiting volunteers, raising donations, collecting emails and building community.

Out of the 1.8 billion people using Facebook every month, 450 million are connected to a nonprofit page. Among the 600 million monthly active Instagram users, 75 per cent have taken action after being inspired by a post.

The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.

“This is an eye opener to the participants what social media can do. They may think social media is about engaging with friends or sharing news but this is about using the medium for a good cause and what are the strategies to implement,” Mohammad Nazari Hj Abdul Hamid, director of Perak State Library told Ipoh Echo.

Will Perak join in the series again? “It’ll be an ongoing process. A lot depends on Internet connectivity. Here in QIUP, the connection is very good hence it was clear and crisp,” he said.

For more information, call the Lincoln Corner Perak at 05 241 3540.

Present at the event was Professor Dato’ Dr Raman Narayanasamy, vice chancellor of QIUP.

Mei Kuan