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

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 that 32% of American children are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease? With physical inactivity as a leading cause, now is the time to work together for a shared solution. Let’s teach our children how to live healthier lives through PE programs in school: [LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION].

Ask questions and encourage story-telling to engage advocates and get them talking about the issue with each other.

  • Studies show that academic achievement increases when students are physically active. But 22% of schools don’t require physical education. Is PE being made a priority at schools in your community?
    • Content: [IMAGE/GRAPHIC]

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.

  • School districts have the opportunity to improve test scores and improve the health of kids throughout [STATE]. Tell [LAWMAKER] to encourage school districts to increase time spent in physical education and make it part of the standard curriculum in schools. [LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION]
  • Kids perform better academically when they are physically active. It’s a fact. That’s why we need to protect physical education in schools and make sure students get the opportunity to be active and healthy during the school day. Join me and get involved in your local community by learning more here: [ORGANIZATION’S SITE]

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

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 65% of kids don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity they need? 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.

  • Do you support physical activity for #students in #school? Why you should get on board FAST: [LINK] #ProtectPE

Include your state and/or local community to make sure people in your area can learn how to make a difference.

  • #LowIncome children in [STATE] face higher #obesity rates. Don’t let them fall behind physically, mentally, emotionally… [LINK]

#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 Physical activity helps kids perform better in other academic classes? Exercise their minds & #ProtectPE.

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 the impact of physical education on obesity rates was so informative! Thanks for sharing. #ProtectPE

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] Active #children become #healthy adults. Support more physical education in our schools! It’s better for everyone: [LINK]

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.