Engaging Social Media for Advocacy

Social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, are great platforms for getting your message out into the world, cultivating a like-minded community, staying on top of breaking news and issues, and building a name for yourself.

Who Should be Doing Social Media for Your Organization?

Early on, you may need to decide whether you have a single person in charge of maintaining social media accounts. Ideally this task will be shared by a number of different members of your team to ensure that you do not lose all of your social media expertise if your designated media person leaves. In addition, it allows for more consistent coverage of your organization’s work and related news if that person is busy.

What Social Networks Should You Be On?

Twitter and Facebook are two obvious choices because they have the most users and the most influence. Google+ is also an option, although it is less popular. If you’re producing videos, consider YouTube and Vimeo. And if you speak to a niche audience, look for social networks that appeal to that group.

6 Tips for Better Tweeting

Important: Be careful about starting a tweet with an "@" mention.

  • Example: Only viewable to followers of your account and the account of the person you are tweeting to.

    @EFF on the new Indian digital locks legislation [link]

  • Example: Example: Viewable to all of your followers and the general public.

    .@EFF on the new Indian digital locks legislation [link]

  • Take on an easily recognizable Twitter handle (username) — It can be issue-specific, or it can be named after your organization. It’s easy to change your Twitter handle in the future. Shorter is often better because, given the character limit, it makes it easier for people to re-tweet you or tweet to you.
  • Be timely — When possible, try to be the first account to tweet breaking news.
  • Be passionate — Good tweets will reflect an opinion so that the audience not only understands an issue, but also understands your opinion on the topic.
  • Use “@” to direct tweets at a particular user — This can be useful to get the attention of a particular company or elected official. If they’re on Twitter, tweet to “@name” to be sure that person/company sees your tweet.
  • Be eloquent — Tweets should not just look like a jumble of acronyms. It is fine to say less if you can say it with eloquence.

5 tips for Better Facebook and Google+ Engagement

  • The best way to have your Facebook or Google+ post spread is to be the first to break the news to the public.
  • Choose a name that is most likely to be searched for in Facebook or Google+ search.
    • Example: imagine your official group name is "Students for Digital Rights and the Public Domain" but everyone on campus calls you "DigiPub." It doesn't make sense for your Facebook page to be "Students for Digital Rights and the Public Domain." Instead, consider choosing "DigiPub" or (perhaps better) "DigiPub: Students for Digital Rights and the Public Domain."
    • Note that it may be challenging to change a username for an organization on Facebook.
  • Post pictures and graphs — Followers are drawn to posts if there is media attached to it, so post lots of photos.
  • Try to put a positive spin on posts to make them more easily “Liked” — If you had a major loss in your campaign, explain your loss and then your commitment to continuing to fight or how your followers can take action.
  • Facebook is a great place for conversation, so ending the message in your post with a question is an effective way to spark engagement.

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