Social Media Samples

How to Engage Your Community with Facebook and Twitter

Now that you’re mastering the key messages and have 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 diverse, 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 71% of people are trying to eat healthier? We can make this easier in [STATE] by encouraging the addition of healthy food and drink options in our city parks, libraries, City Hall, and other facilities! Studies show that people tend to eat what is available, so let’s set them up for success! [LINK TO MORE INFORMATION]
  • Studies show that people want to eat healthier. But right now, there are few or no healthy options in vending machines and concession stands throughout our public facilities, parks, and buildings. Are health and nutrition a priority in public spaces throughout your community? Get involved today. [LINK TO MORE INFORMATION] 
    • Content: [IMAGE/GRAPHIC]
  • We tend to eat food that is easily available. It’s a fact. That’s why we need to provide employees and families who find themselves in public facilities with healthy, nutritious options. Join me and get involved in your local community by learning more here: [ORGANIZATION’S WEBSITE]

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

  • Our local public facilities, parks, and buildings have the opportunity to improve the health of employees and families throughout [CITY/TOWN]. Tell [LAWMAKER] to encourage healthier food and beverage options in vending machines and concession stands for all to enjoy. [LINK TO 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

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 71% of consumers are trying to eat healthier? Find out how you can help: [LINK TO MORE INFORMATION]
  • Do you support healthy choices for #employees in #government? Why you should get on board FAST: [LINK TO ACTION] #RestockOurFuture

Hashtags (#) are used to tag key words in your messages. #DYK, short for “did you know,” is one way you can leverage a popular hashtag to share powerful facts or statistics about your issue. This can help spark engagement with other Twitter users talking about similar topics.

  • #DYK We tend to eat what is easily available? Help set up employees and families for success & provide #HealthyChoices.

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

  • #Families in [STATE] often visit rec centers & public parks. Make sure they have #healthy food options! [LINK TO ACTION]

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 food options in public spaces was so informative! Thanks for sharing. #RestockOurFuture

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] #Healthy options lead to #healthy decisions. Support healthier food selections in local public spaces! #RestockOurFuture [LINK TO MORE INFORMATION]

Additional Notes for Twitter

  • Full web links take up space! You can shorten links by using bit.ly.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.