Advocacy on Different Platforms
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have become massive advocacy outlets for many organizations and legislators, and all serve similar functions. On each of these platforms, organizations, news stations, elected officials, and relevant individuals in different fields will frequently post statuses regarding what they are working on. By following them you can get regular updates for their campaigns and interests. These updates can include: legislative movement, statistical or scientific updates, or general news announcements. Posts can also include information on upcoming events, other ways to participate in advocacy, or resources for a topic they care about.
You can learn more about what individuals or organizations are supporting or opposing by looking at the posts, people, or organizations they like, retweet, share, and follow. This is also a good way to learn about other stakeholders involved in similar fields. By following people involved in topics that interest you, you can design your newsfeed to offer information primarily relevant to the fields of your choice. This will even affect the advertisements and suggested pages that appear on your feed. The more you follow certain topics and people, the more relevant information will show on your feed.
When you see information you find particularly important, you can share it on your page to expand the audience to include your followers. If you see posts that you want an elected official to see, you can comment on the tweet and tag (or @) your official with the commentary you want to go along with it. Directing posts to specific people, or broader groups is active social media advocacy and can help spread news and pertinent information.
However, it is important to acknowledge where your information is coming from. If you are sharing information from a person or organization you don’t know, you will want to fact check it before sharing. Many posts will link to a news source or data set that they are referring to, this is always useful and we recommend looking at the source before sharing. And when you do share information or posts, you should always give credit to the creator of the post on which you are now reporting. As important as it is to share information, it is even more important to ensure that information is accurate, checked, and accredited.
Instagram has been used, more recently, as a way to share information and platforms — primarily through pictures — as well. Although it is not thought of as the most professional platform, Instagram is still a great way to spread your campaign or a campaign you’re following. Similar to the other three platforms, the more you follow people and organizations you are interested in, the more you will find other people to follow and more campaigns that interest you. You can also share others’ posts by sharing them to your story or reposting it to your page. Instagram has been picking up speed when it comes to advocacy and it is not a platform to miss! But of course, as with the others, check the information before you share it and remember to source the original content creator.
Some helpful websites: