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.

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.

  • Our kids eat, on average, 25% of their daily calories at fast food and other restaurants. Unfortunately, 97% of these kids’ meals are unhealthy. Learn how we can provide healthy options in children’s meals in [STATE] restaurants, and share this post with your Facebook friends. [LINK TO WEBSITE]

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

  • How can our community serve kids better? By urging your decision makers to support healthier restaurant children’s meals in [STATE] [LINK TO WEBSITE WITH PLACE TO TAKE ACTION]
  • Are you spreading the word about improving restaurant choices for kids’ meals? This flyer can help. Print it and pin it up around your community! While you’re at it, snap a picture of yourself in action and come back here to share it. [LINK TO FLYER]
  • We spend more than half of our food dollars at restaurants, meaning kids eat out a lot. Support efforts to improve the nutritional quality of restaurant kids’ meals in our community. [LINK TO WEBSITE]

This is an example of a lobbying message. You can use lobbying messages when there is a bill related to your cause, like healthier kids’ meal options, or if it refers to a specific law or program in another state.

  • If restaurant kids’ meals met nutritional standards, it could make a real difference in helping children living in the U.S. lead a healthy life. Send a letter to [INSERT DECISION MAKER] to support making the kids’ meals in [STATE] restaurants healthier! [LINK TO WEBSITE WITH LETTER TO DECISION MAKER]

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 97% of kids’ menu meals are unhealthy? Let’s make sure they’re served healthy foods. [INSERT LINK] #servekidsbetter

Hashtags (#) are used to tag keywords in your messages. This can help spark engagement with other Twitter users talking about similar topics.

  • Restaurants need to get serious and cut calories, salt, fat, sugar & add fruits, veggies, whole grains to kids’ meals to #servekidsbetter.
  • RT if you agree: Restaurants should provide #healthykidsmeals to #servekidsbetter: [INSERT LINK].

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 healthy kids’ meals was so informative! Thanks for sharing. #servekidsbetter

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.

  • .@[INSERT LAWMAKER’S TWITTER HANDLE], we can’t stand on the sidelines when it comes to our kids’ health. We need restaurants to #servekidsbetter. [INSERT LINK]
  • In [STATE] where 97% of kids’ meals are unhealthy, we’re glad @[INSERT LAWMAKER’S TWITTER HANDLE] supports the healthy kids’ meal bill.

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.