Social Media Samples
How to Engage Your Community with Facebook and Twitter
Now that you’re mastering the key messages and you’ve 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 lot 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—“Concerned Citizens of [CITY] for Our Healthy Kids”—when your campaign takes off and community members show support.
Sample Posts for Facebook
Start with powerful examples and statistics about the issue that mean something to the people in your community. Include local or state statistics where possible.
- Did you know 60% of parents support policies to get junk food marketing out of schools? Do you agree? If so, learn how to help at [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION]
Ask questions and encourage story-telling to engage advocates and get them talking about the issue with each other.
- Parents agree: our children deserve to learn in an environment free from harmful influences, including junk food marketing at school and on buses. So why are we still letting companies advertise these items at our schools? Learn how you can help: [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION]
This is an example of a lobbying message. You can use lobbying messages when there is a bill related to your cause, like physical education in schools, or if it refers to a specific law or program in another state.
- Companies spend millions upon millions of dollars each year targeting our children with junk food advertisements in school and on school buses. [LAWMAKER’S NAME], we need your help to end this unhealthy influence and teach kids to eat healthy, wholesome foods.
- Children are the most precious resource we have for the future. But harmful influences like junk food marketing in schools puts children at greater risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Contact [LAWMAKER’S NAME] and ask him/her to help us make school a place for learning, not promoting junk food. [LINK TO WEBSITE WITH MORE INFORMATION]
Additional Notes for Facebook
- Images and videos attract more attention on social media because they serve as a visual way to tell a story, and they’re more fun to share. Keep these tips in mind if you choose to include them:
- Use your own images, videos, and graphics.
- If you film or photograph members in your community, make sure you ask for permission 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.
- Want more people to see key posts? You can highlight posts to anchor them to the top of your page. To take this a step further, you can also promote your posts. This has a small fee and will get your posts to show up in the newsfeeds of the types of people you target.
- If you have a website or blog you want advocates to click on, 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.
Twitter is a powerful platform because it uses short and informative messages, 140 characters each, to reach journalists, bloggers, news outlets, policymakers, parents, teachers, and other key stakeholders in your local community.
Sample Posts for Twitter
You can use phrases, like this one, to make people curious. If they want to find out an answer, they are more likely to click on your link.
- #DYK companies spend millions marketing junk food to kids at school? Find out how you can help [LINK TO MORE INFORMATION]
Hashtags (#) are used to tag keywords in your messages. This can help spark engagement with other Twitter users talking about similar topics.
- Spread the word! Talk w/ family, friends & schools about ending junk food marketing in schools. [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION] #dontsellusshort
Include your state and/or local community to make sure people in your area can learn how to make a difference.
- Help change the school environment for good in [STATE ABBREVIATION]! End junk food marketing in schools: [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION] #dontsellusshort
#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 nearly 90% of school officials report that school programs/activities would NOT be reduced if junk food marketing ceased? ly/1soIsOt
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. 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.
- .@[JOURNALIST] Your article on junk food marketing was so informative! Thanks for sharing. #dontsellusshort
If there is a bill you want to see passed concerning this issue, engage your policymakers 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.
- .@[LAWMAKER’S TWITTER HANDLE], please support policies that end junk food marketing in our children’s schools. [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION] #dontsellusshort
- .@[LAWMAKER’S TWITTER HANDLE], help children develop healthy eating habits. End junk food marketing in schools. [LINK TO ORGANIZATION WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION TO TAKE ACTION] #dontsellusshort
Additional Notes for Twitter
- Full web links take up space! You can shorten links by using bitly.com, a shortening tool that also tracks how many times people have clicked on your link.
- Consider starting a hashtag for your campaign. This way, supporters, media, legislators, and all other audiences can easily follow along on your online journey.