Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can be a powerful tool for campaigning. Here are some top tips on using these platforms.

05 Oct 2020

Social media lets you interact with your audience and find out exactly what makes them tick. People are more likely to get involved if they know that you're listening to them.

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most commonly used social media sites. Here's how to get the most out of them.

Top tips for using Twitter

Follow other users. Whenever you choose to follow someone, they will receive an email notifying them that you’re following their updates. If they like the look of your profile, they may decide to follow you back.

  • Interact with fellow tweeters using the @ feature. Putting a full stop before you @mention means your tweet shows up in the feeds of all of your followers. Otherwise your tweet is considered conversational and only shows up on your stream, the stream of whoever you Tweeted at, and the followers you both have in common.

  • Try to be useful, original and contribute to a conversation. Think about what would make others want to follow you, what you can provide them with and what sets you apart from all the other Twitter users.

  • Don’t under-tweet. As with any community, you have to be active in it to reap its rewards. This means tweeting at least a few times a day.

  • Use images as much as possible. If you mention a past event or action, make sure to include a photo.

  • Don’t over-publicise. It’s important to vary self-promotional updates with interesting links to other blogs, tweets or news stories.

  • Make use of the hashtag (#) to flag up keywords. This will help people find your tweets on these subjects and will make it possible for something to spread or become a trending topic. (The hashtags we're using are #GreenandFairFuture, and #TakeClimateAction).

  • Keep your tweets short and to the point – try not to use up all your characters and stick to 1 or 2 hashtags per tweet.

  • Reply to tweets. If you’re active on Twitter, people will often reach you via the @ feature, so be sure to regularly check your mentions to see what other people are saying about you.

  • Publicise and promote your Twitter account. Whenever you get the chance to promote your Twitter account, do it!

Top tips for using Facebook

  • Think about what you want out of Facebook. If you want a space to discuss issues with your members, start a Facebook Group. If you want to use Facebook for promotion and recruitment, then opt for a Page.
  • Engagement is incredibly important – the more likes and shares your content has, the more people will see it. So make sure the quality of all your posts is high, respond to comments, and encourage people to contribute.

  • Try to post something at least 3 or 4 times a week. Facebook will otherwise flag your page as not relevant – and show your content to fewer people.

  • Follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of your posts should be sharing what other people have posted, 20% should be organic. Always respond to comments though.

  • Positive posts are generally better liked than posts that are negative.

  • Images or Facebook videos are a must. Post shareable content. It should evoke a feeling from your audience. Unusual, funny, celebratory and cute are all very shareable on this channel.

  • Personal stories can make a big impact. Gather stories about local people.

  • Facebook forbids explicitly asking for likes and shares, so instead make your post extra interesting and worth sharing.

  • Short posts are better. Ideally fewer than 40 characters.

  • Why would anyone share your content? What does your post say about the person who shares it?

Guidance for promoting on Facebook

Verification for advertisers

To run ads about social issues you will have to go through the below steps to be verified by Facebook. This process may take up to a week so please begin as soon as possible.

Before you begin the ad authorisation process, you'll need the following:

  1. Be the Page admin or advertiser on the Page from which you're running ads.
  2. Have two-factor authentication enabled (learn how to do this).
  3. Have the following unexpired materials and information available:
  • A UK passport, EU passport, UK driver's license or residence permit
  • A UK-based residential mailing address

Once you’ve completed these steps, submit your ID.

Step-by-step guide to boosting your posts

  1. Publish your first and main post calling for people to respond and leave for an hour or two before promoting. Encourage your network (i.e. people in your group, friends, family, colleagues) to engage (Like, Comment, Share) during this time. The more engagements the post gets before it is promoted, the more Facebook will think that the post is of high quality. This will improve the results when you do boost your post.
  2. To promote your post click the blue "boost" button on the bottom right hand corner. This will open up the ad settings.
  3. Under "Objectives" select "Engagements".
  4. If there is an option to add a button to the post select ‘No Button’.
  5. Under "Audience" click "Edit". This will open the targeting settings.
  6. Keep age and gender settings as broad as possible, these likely won’t need editing.
  7. On audience, focus on targeting people in your local area. To do this, remove any locations already listed by hovering over them and clicking the "x" to the right hand side.
  8. Next type in the name of your location, i.e Newbury, and then drop a pin on the map where Newbury is shown by clicking "drop a pin" in the bottom right hand corner.
  9. Once you have done this you will be able to control the search area by clicking the "km" distance next to the location name and making the area bigger or smaller.
  10. When editing your area you will see the audience size barometer at the bottom of the page move. You should aim to have an audience size no bigger than 25,000 people.
  11. Secondly you can move onto "detailed targeting" which targets people based on their interests. You should use the interests of either "Environmentalism" and "Sustainability" or both. You can do so by typing in these words and clicking on them.
  12. You should aim to have your audience targeted to your local area first and foremost, and use the interest targeting of environmentalism and sustainability as secondary options to refine and reduce the audience numbers.
  13. Once your audience is ready click "save".
  14. Continue to scroll down the ad set up and you should see a message that says "Is this ad about social or political issues?" - check yes. If you do not check yes your ad will likely be rejected.
  15. Finally, enter your payment details and click "boost".

Suggested budget: £25 Suggested running time: 2 days Suggested audience: Local. Interests: environmentalism / sustainability Audience size: Between 15,000 - 25,000

Social posts for October week of action

Below is some guidance to help you with social media during the October week of action ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

First post template

What changes do you want to see in <location> following the pandemic?

We're at a crossroads with an opportunity to combat climate chaos. Comment below to add your voice and vision of a green and fairer future for us all!

#GreenandFairFuture #TakeClimateAction

Follow up post with images

The people of <location> have spoken, and this is what we want for our future!

What would you like to see change following the pandemic? Add your thoughts by commenting below, as we build a vision of what <location> could look like if we had a green and fair recovery.

#GreenandFairFuture #TakeClimateAction

Guidance on Posting

  • Make sure to post when you think your audience will be online and will have time to respond, i.e at lunch time or after work.
  • Share the first post on the launch date and follow up a few days after with the responses so far to keep momentum.
  • Retweet responses each day
  • Try to reply to as many people as possible and ask questions to build conversation. This is particularly important on Twitter as Twitter gives more value to replies rather than posts.
  • Quote tweet your original post to draw more attention to it during the week.
  • Ask local "influencers" and experts to share your post by DMing them or contacting them offline. Tag relevant local bodies and organisations in your images to get their attention.
  • Pin your post to the top of your profile on both Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the three dots in the top right hand corner and clicking "pin".
  • Make sure your post makes it clear what you are asking people to do and stick to one ask per post.

Sensitive information

Avoid sharing sensitive or revealing information that you wouldn’t want to see in a public space like Facebook. Are there things you don't want a particular industry to know about? E.g. the fracking industry.