Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can be a powerful tool for campaigning. Here are some top tips on using these platforms.
Social media help us directly engage with people, promote our group, raise awareness, encourage people to take action, grow support for a campaign, fundraise and sometimes directly interact with the decision makers or people we’re trying to influence.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the most commonly used social media sites so we've put together some basic tips for getting the most out of them.
Top Twitter tips
- Follow other users. Whenever you choose to follow someone, they will receive an email notifying them that you’re following their updates. If they like the look of your profile, they may decide to follow you back.
- Interact with fellow tweeters using the @ feature. Putting a full stop before you @mention means your tweet shows up in the feeds of all of your followers. Otherwise your tweet is considered conversational and only shows up on your stream, the stream of whoever you Tweeted at, and those followers you both have in common.
- Try to be useful, original and contribute to a conversation. Think about what would make others want to follow you, what you can provide them with and what sets you apart from all the other Twitter users.
- Don’t under-tweet. As with any community, you have to be active in it to reap its rewards. This means tweeting at least a few times a day.
- Use images as much as possible. If you mention a past event or action, make sure to include a photo.
- Don’t over-publicise. It’s important to vary self-promotional updates with interesting links to other blogs, tweets or news stories.
- Make use of the hash tag (#) to flag up keywords. This will help people find your tweets on these subjects and will make it possible for something to spread or become a “trending topic”.
- Keep your tweets short and to the point – try not to always use up all your characters and stick to one or two hash tags per tweet.
- Reply to tweets. If you’re active on Twitter, people will often reach you via the @ feature, so be sure to regularly check your mentions to see what other people are saying about you.
- Publicise and promote your Twitter account. Whenever you get the chance to promote your Twitter account, do it!
top facebook tips
- Think about what you want out of Facebook. If you prefer a space to engage with your members, share and discuss, then a Facebook Group is what you're looking for. If you want to use Facebook for promotion and recruitment, then opt for a Page. See the link ‘Facebook pages vs. Facebook groups' below.
- Engagement is incredibly important – the more likes and shares your content has, the more people will see it. So make sure the quality of all your posts is high, respond to comments, and encourage people to contribute.
- Try to post something at least 3 or 4 times a week. This will keep you high in Facebook’s algorithms, and means that more people are likely to see your posts.
- Generating this amount of content is virtually impossible, so follow the 80/20 rule of thumb - 80% of your posts can be sharing what other people have posted, 20% should be organic. Always try to comment though.
- Positive posts are generally better liked and better received than posts that are negative.
- Images go a long way. If you have an event or an action, make sure to take pictures and post it onto your account. Infographics are great ways to convey complicated information in a more digestible way. They are easily shared and get more exposure.
- Create shareable content. That way, your post will reach more people and be more impactful. Look at what other people are sharing and think about what is good shareable content and what is not.
- Personal stories can make a big impact. Gather stories about locals who will be affected in your area.
- Facebook forbids explicitly asking for likes and shares, so instead make your post extra interesting and worth sharing.
- Short posts are better, but if you have to use long text make sure your first sentences are extra engaging.
- People generally use Facebook to build an online personality. So think about what your post would say about someone if they were to share it.
Note: it’s better not to share any sensitive or revealing information that you wouldn’t want the fracking industry to see in a public space like Facebook.