Social Media Samples
How to Engage Your Community with Facebook and Twitter
Now that you’ve mastered the key messages and established your campaign, you’re ready to talk about your issue with a wider audience. But, what’s the best way to get the word out to a variety of various influential audiences? Social media is a great place to start. With just a few clicks, you can access the right people, build awareness and gain support to activate change in your community.
So, what are the most effective ways to use social media to support your cause? Let’s start by breaking down the Facebook and Twitter messages below.
Facebook is a great way to reach more people, especially if you already have an established presence through your local organization’s page. You can use your existing account(s) to engage current advocates and recruit new ones, too. If you’ve established a campaign as an individual, consider launching a community Facebook page when your campaign takes off and community members show support.
Include your state and/or local community to make sure people in your area can learn how to make a difference.
- More must be done to ensure that all kids have access to water in school. Learn about [STATE] plumbing codes, and ask your school board to install more water drinking dispensers. [LINK TO LEARN MORE]
Include powerful examples and statistics about the issue that mean something to the people in your community. Include local or state statistics and examples where possible.
- All children deserve to go to a school that has access to clean drinking water at no cost, no matter where they live, what school they attend, or what grade they are in. #ClosetheWaterGap #WaterisLife
- Twenty-three percent of parents are unsure of how their children get water during the school day. Do you know? Tell us below in the comments. [INSERT GRAPHIC]
- Water is a basic human need—something kids cannot live without. Join us in our fight to #ClosetheWaterGap: [LINK TO ORGANIZATION’S SITE]
- Many children don’t drink enough water. Providing water at no cost during lunch is an easy, inexpensive fix. According to a study of schools in Massachusetts, water can be provided at no cost during school meals for as little as $12,500 per decade. #WaterisLife
- Access to drinking water in school varies by location and socioeconomic factors. Does your school’s nutrition standards meet drinking water requirements? #ClosetheWaterGap [LINK TO LEARN MORE]
Additional Notes for Facebook
- Images and videos attract more attention on social media because they serve as visual ways to tell a story, and they’re more fun to share. Keep these tips in mind if you choose to include them:
- You can use the sample Facebook graphics included in this toolkit, but keep in mind that using the materials of others could cause copyright issues, so try to capture you own images, videos and graphics as well.
- If you film or photograph members in your community, make sure you ask for permission and get a signed waiver before you post.
- Think about the story you want to tell with the images you use and how it might inspire the people you want to reach.
- Use people in your images that look like your community members.
- Want more people to see key posts? You can highlight posts by pinning them to the top of your page. To take this a step further, you can also promote your posts. There is a cost associated with promoting Facebook posts but this will get your posts to show up in the newsfeeds of the types of people you want to engage in your campaign.
- If you have a website or blog you want advocates to visit, make sure to include the link at the end of your post. Always give them a place where they can go to learn more, read an op-ed or join your movement.
- Personalize the posts by using facts specifically about your community instead of general facts.
Twitter is a powerful platform because it uses short and informative messages, 280 characters each, to reach journalists, bloggers, news outlets, policymakers, parents, teachers and other key stakeholders in your local community.
Sample Posts for Twitter
Hashtags (#) are used to tag keywords in your messages. This can help spark engagement with other Twitter users talking about similar topics. Consider adding a hashtag that is used in your community or specific to your local efforts.
- All kids, no matter where they live, should have access to water in school. #ClosetheWaterGap #WaterisLife
- Water is a basic human need—something kids cannot live without. Join us in our work to #ClosetheWaterGap: [LINK TO ORGANIZATION’S SITE]
You can use short phrases or stats, like this one, to make people eager to learn more.
- 23% of parents are unsure of how their children get water during the school day. Do you know if your child has access to #clean, #safe drinking water during the school day? #ClosetheWaterGap
- Drinking water keeps kids’ growing bodies hydrated and helps them learn better. Get involved with your school board and ask for more drinking water dispensers to be installed. #WaterisLife
Twitter is a great place to engage journalists, policymakers and bloggers. Reach out and build relationships with others who care about your issue or use this tactic to catch their attention.
- More must be done to ensure that all kids have access to water in school. [@LEGISLATOR] please support stronger school nutrition policies.
#DYK, short for “did you know,” is one way you can leverage a popular hashtag to share powerful facts or statistics about your issue.
- #DYK that over 95% of Americans believe that #clean, #safe drinking water should be available at all schools, no matter their location? Find out more about our work to make sure [LOCATION]’s children have access to water during the school day.
Additional Notes for Twitter
- Consider starting a hashtag for your campaign. This way, supporters, media, legislators and all other audiences can easily follow along on your online journey.
- Remember that links take up space! If you want to track how many times people have clicked on your link, you can use a service like bitly.com. Otherwise, Twitter will automatically shorten your link via its own shortening service, making the link count for 23 characters.
- The good news is that media assets like photos, GIFs, polls, videos and quoted tweets no longer count toward your 280-character limit.
- Additionally, usernames no longer count toward the 280-character limit.
- Never start tweets with an @ symbol because then only you and the tagged user will see your tweet in newsfeeds! By placing any other character in front of @, the tweet is visible to a broader audience. You’ll notice that often, people begin their tweet with a period.
- Engage your legislators and/or community leaders through this platform. You can also provide this language to other community members so they can tweet at the same lawmaker in high volumes. This kind of message would be considered lobbying if you reference a specific proposed or pending piece of legislation, because using the legislator’s Twitter handle makes it a direct communication to that person.