Social media is a powerful tool to communicate with your legislator, inform the public on issues and news, and elicit support from a broader audience. Social media advocacy goes beyond likes and retweets; you are increasing both the visibility of the issue and your organization, which requires a well-planned social media strategy. This section provides information on advocacy through social media and examples of social media posts.
Create a social media strategy
Regardless of your position on an issue, your organization should implement a plan to ensure progress is made in your virtual advocacy efforts. When creating a social media strategy, consider including:
- S.M.A.R.T. goals: Ensure the goals and objectives you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). Example: increase brand awareness, enhance audience engagement, and build followers
- Metrics: Determine how you want to track the progress towards each goal. There are many metrics that exist for social media analytics such as number of mentions (engagement rate), audience growth (gain of new followers), and number of views per post (reach).
- Platforms: Identify the appropriate social media platform to post your message. Consider the platform's uses, audience, and engagement. For example, Twitter is used to share current news and photos/infographics, while Facebook is best to share stories and videos.
- Posting calendar: Schedule posts to go out on a regular basis. A regular posting schedule shows consistency and commitment to engagement and outreach.
Craft your message
If you are talking with your legislator through social media, your post should communicate the “why”, “what”, and “how” clearly and concisely. By reading your post, your legislator should understand your specific request or action steps. This structure can also be applied to social media posts intended for your audience. Connect your message to your audience by adding “how” the issue is relevant or impactful to the community.
Connect with key stakeholders
You need not be alone in your advocacy efforts. Working with other stakeholders is an effective strategy to strengthen your message. Search the latest activity on the issue via hashtags to identify key stakeholders who message aligns with yours. You can work with stakeholders virtually by participating in Twitter chats, mentioning them (@organization) in tweets, partnering on advocacy campaigns, etc.