Social Video, with Sophia Smith Galer

“The aim is not to be viral, but to be high-value” – Sophia Smith Galer

Sophia Smith Galer is a senior news reporter at Vice World News, author of the new book Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century, and a TikTok content-creator extraordinaire.

We all know that journalism pre-dates social media, and has been weakened by it in some places, but Sophia has found a way to bridge the two, and is blazing a new path. She recently received a British Journalism Award on “Innovation of the Year” for her use of social media in reporting.

Things We Talk About In This Episode:

  • The importance that established news organisations find ways to use social media if they want to engage a young audience
  • TikTok has redefined the experience of social media, with short video content, and Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts have followed suit
  • How Sophia found an audience on TikTok (and later on Instagram Reels) by talking to camera about her media stories
  • The way we can gain insights into what makes a successful social media post by being a user of the platform
  • The importance of constant engagement on social media, both creating and consuming content
  • Acknowledging the fear and vulnerability that can come with being authentic and genuine online
  • Sophia’s tips for successful TikTok/Reel content: action or engaging content in every second, and lead with your most powerful image/shot/quote)
  • Comparing the strengths and drawbacks of the different platforms, especially Reels and TikTok
  • When creating Reels content or TikTok content, share that content on both platforms so you’ll meet both audiences
  • When it comes to sharing your opinions online, having a sense of purpose goes a long way towards building your confidence
  • How Sophia has been promoting her book: reposting user content from her book launch on Instagram, a big thread on Twitter, traditional media appearances, and weekly TikTok videos (interspersed with other content so she doesn’t “spam” her audience)
  • The challenges of Internet (and especially social media) censorship with any content relating to sex or sexual health

Links mentioned in this episode (and where to find Sophia):

Editing apps that help you create Reels or TikToks:

Here’s where to find and chat with Sophia:

Where to find Sara: