Platforms to share your message via social media
Take into consideration the following tips as your organization decides to use various channels to deliver your message.
- Create a Page for your organization: your organization should have a Page on Facebook where you can share stories and connect with people. Pages are only open to real organizations and businesses and is used to communicate with the public (who like the Pages), and may only be created and managed by official representatives of the organization. Groups, on the other hand, are spaces for people to communicate about shared interests, therefore, is more limiting.
- Keep the message simple: most users only skim through their newsfeed on Facebook, so it’s ideal to keep your message short and on-point. Keeping your message under 40 characters has been proven to generate the highest engagement – so keep it short!
- Engage, engage, engage: the key to amplifying your advocacy is to engage your audience! Use Facebook to have conversations, not monologues. Engage your key audience by asking questions and encourage interactivity.
- Post frequently: to keep your audience engaged, post no more than 2x a day. If you post more, your followers may unfollow or hide your content. If your organization posts content more constantly like how news organizations do, do not post more than once every 3 hours.
- Directly post articles and visuals: you can now directly embedded and post articles and videos on your Facebook Page. This will help you directly engage with your audience, it is more work since it will require you to edit and tailor the article or video for Facebook format.
- Add photos and videos: adding visuals to your message will help make the content more exciting. Facebook’s new feature, Facebook Live, lets you livestream video. It’s best to use your organization’s photos, but you can also find and use free and shared photos on creative commons.
- Use relevant #hashtags: tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement. By using hashtags, Twitter aggregates conversations and creates affinity groups. To create momentum for your advocacy campaign, it’s best to create a specific hashtag that resonates and sends a clear message on what the issue is. Or if there’s an existing hashtag about the issue that’s being discussed, use that popular hashtag to add your organization’s voice to the discussion. You will get more attention if you use event or cause specific #hashtags instead of using generic hashtags like #countryname or #keyterm.
- Retweeting = increased engagement with audience: retweeting is a way to show support or build your content on Twitter. By retweeting, you send three messages, including 1) share the information with your audience, 2) crate a deeper connection between your organization and the original tweeter, and 3) helps expand your network because retweeting usually results in gaining new followers.
- Shorter message = more likely to be retweeted: just like Facebook posts, shorter Tweets that are 120-130 characters are more likely to get retweeted and garner more engagement.
- Add visuals: similar to Facebook, you get more engagements if you include photos or videos. You can also share a short video on Twitter via Vine – a mobile app where users can share 6 second videos.
- Explain your advocacy campaign: blog is a great way to explain why your organization is leading a specific advocacy and what action you’d like your community to take. Use free sites like WordPress or Tumblr and post updates regularly on your advocacy campaign.
- Cross-post on Facebook and Twitter: using your organization’s Facebook or Twitter to spread the word about your blog is the best way to redirect traffic to the blog. It’s also the most effective way to reach a broader audience than using each of the channels alone. Just remember to add descriptions about the post within the Twitter or Facebook post.
- Data is your starting point: infographic combines information and image. It relies on your data, and uses images to tell the same story as the numbers tell on their own.
- Visualize your data in an easy way: infographics is a powerful way to grab your audiences’ attention. By using charts, maps, or diagrams, you can illustrate a more complicated story and provide more context around the data you are presenting.
- More compelling information = more sharing: a well thought-out, informative infographic is more likely to be shared by people, thus driving traffic to your organization’s Facebook page or website that explains your advocacy campaign.
- Tools for data visualization: depending on your budget, you can create infographics using different tools. Check out free infographic tools like am, canva, or mapping tools like CartoDB. (Extra tip: here’s a CIPE video tutorial on how to use canva).
- Examples of infographics: for inspiration, check out examples of infographics used for advocacy here and here.
Suggested online or mobile tools to use during the implementation phase of your advocacy campaign:
- BMOs Mobile Engagement Toolkit by ITC-ILO provides a list of tools (SMS, video, live interaction, and text-to-image) which facilitate the implementation of different methods.
- CitizenSpeak is a free tool that provides a simple, straightforward method for advocacy organizations to create an email and then allow supporters to modify, personalize, and send the message. CitizenSpeak e-mails will not automatically navigate through web forms or other filters, making it better suited to a campaign targeting state or local politicians, or corporations.
- National Democratic Institute’s Demtools are free tools for civil society actors, including platforms for customer relationship management (CRM), petitions, candidate platforms, election analysis and data visualization tools.
- LinkedIn Groups can be used by organizations as a ‘group’ feature on LinkedIn for public or private discussions with their members, followers, or stakeholders.
- SuiteCRM is a ‘software fork’ or extension of the popular customer relationship management (CRM) system, Sugar CRM. A free and open source alternative to SugarCRM, this allows for many of the same capabilities at no cost.
- Thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. If you reach your supporter goal, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention. Read the UN’s case study. Costs $45/campaign.