Using Social Media

Today, people are sharing
everything online. Whether we love it or hate it, there’s a conversation
on social media and we definitely want
to be a part of it. Let’s explore how to
effectively use social media to advance our advocacy and some things we
should definitely avoid. Whether it’s Facebook,
Twitter, Pinterest LinkedIn, or some other
social media platform. The conversation is happening. The good news is,
we don’t have to do it all. What is important is
to choose the platform you’re most comfortable with and use it
to our collective advantage. This is another great
aspect of working with that supportive group. If you’re not on social media,
you don’t have to be. You don’t have
to join social media. Chances are a member
of your group is already on social media. And as a group we can share what is being said
on various platforms and we can strategize about what messages we
would like to post and when. Here are a few quick tips on how to best use social media to
effectively convey our message, and a few definitely do not’s, to make sure we
don’t jeopardize it. Number one: set
some ground rules. What will you post and when? What will you
respond to and how? And what will you share
on which platform and why? It may seem like it
goes without saying, but posting whatever you feel in the moment is the worst way
to get our message across. And even worse
for our advocacy efforts. We want people to see us
as knowledgeable experts. Not like some random
person on a soapbox. So setting ground rules can help
us maintain the discipline that a well-organized
advocacy effort needs. Also, remember that if we want to set up meetings
with our local representatives, don’t be surprised if their staffers
do a quick review of your social media accounts to see what type of person
they’ll be meeting with. We don’t want them
to see us as someone who spews anger, so they double their security
in anticipation of our arrival, or refuse to see
us all together. Number two: create
a scheduled plan. If you’re working with a group, it’s great to get
your groups input on when to post
what types of messages. These coordinated efforts
can really boost our advocacy across several
social media platforms. If you’re working
solo, no problem. Create a plan for yourself. Consider your audience and when they will want to receive
the message you’re delivering. Is there an important
event coming up? Does your group need
three months notice or three minutes? Also if there’s a national
holiday coming up, like Thanksgiving. Does your audience want to hear
about your anger for how a representative voted or your gratitude
for the many things that are going so well
with our movement? Number three, we
will get haters. Otherwise known as trolls. Don’t be surprised. Instead decide how you want
to respond to those who disagree with our opinions. You should also consider how quickly you respond
to any comments. A quick rule of thumb
is used negative comments as a springboard
to re-emphasize our message, without getting defensive
or dragging the opposition down. Starting with, that’s a great point,
or that’s a great question. Will help set the stage
for a positive response, rather than one laced
with anger or disagreement. Remember each comment is
a new opportunity to get someone to join our cause. So number four:
keep it positive. Keep it concise
and to the point. We get less than three seconds
on anyone’s Facebook scroll or Twitter feed. If it takes a paragraph,
we missed the opportunity. Number five: keep an eye out for what our opposition
is posting on their pages. Here again, don’t be a troll. Use the comment section on their pages to bring
positivity to the conversation. I try to keep in mind that we’re all trying to do
what is best for children. Perhaps my opponent
has more information than I do and has come
to a different conclusion. Use your comments to welcome
everyone into the conversation and it will only make
our voice stronger. On behalf of all parents
across your state. Thank you for supporting
every parent’s right to choose the best public school option
for their student. While social media can be
a little intimidating, it can also be a very
positive and effective method for extending our advocacy through consistently positive
and well-crafted messages. We look forward
to supporting you.

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