5 Ways to Use Social Media to Support a Digital Advocacy Campaign

September 13, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Social media presents a variety of opportunities to amplify the influence of your digital advocacy campaign. These online outreach efforts can support your advocacy campaign by raising awareness and extending the impact your messaging. We've assembled several ideas you can use today to intensify your advocacy campaign's presence. 

Here are 5 ideas to amplify your advocacy messaging through social media: 

  1. Create a unique hashtag that relates to your advocacy mission and include the hashtag on all social media posts that tie into your advocacy campaign from start to finish (#PassHB567, #ProtectRivers, etc.). Encourage your supporters, members, and staff to not only share your organization's posts, but to publish their own posts with the campaign-specific hashtag. The strategic use of the hashtag accomplishes two primary objectives: 1) you can track advocacy efforts online by searching for the hashtag on both Twitter and Facebook to see the reach of your campaign and 2)  like-minded individuals who organically find your "hashtagged" posts are able to follow your campaign and easily join the discussion. 
  2. Design or utilize engaging images that visually represent the story behind your advocacy campaign. Choose images that best capture viewers' attention and resonate your with potential advocates. As a tip, images with human faces score more clicks and shares than images without a person. Effective images will help inspire supporters to engage with your social media content (i.e., "liking", sharing, re-posting) and boost chances that more like-minded individuals see your call-to-action. Visuals are particularly effective for Twitter and Facebook where both platforms will allow you to reach a wide audience of prospective supporters. 
  3. Connect with relevant media outlets through social media. Sharing your organization’s digital advocacy campaign with members of the press can help spread your advocacy message and expand its reach. Often, local journalists and news anchors maintain a large network of followers on social media. Sharing your online advocacy posts, or online action centers, with journalists may garner a new grassroots audience and amplify your message. Look for local journalists, or those who cover stories directly related to your advocacy issue.
  4. Search for influencers who'd be likely supporters of your advocacy campaign. Involving an online influencer in your digital campaign can spur tremendous growth in the reach of your campaign. If a well-known individual (celebrity, author, blogger, etc.) tweets or shares a Facebook post about your advocacy campaign, your advocacy message could potentially reach and educate thousands of new citizens. One celebrity tweet can generate an entire movement. 
  5. Identify organizations, institutions and other relevant stakeholders who share similar campaign goals as you. Reach out and ask that they share your advocacy campaign on social media with their supporters if their audience seems like a good fit. Foster goodwill with organizations working towards similar goals by sharing their online content that is relevant to your advocacy goals. Retweet, re-post, share, like, etc. these posts to generate a dialogue through social media, and to form a digital coalition of like-minded nonprofits or associations working towards a similar mission.  

{Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has since been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.}

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