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.

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.

  • For the nearly 30 million people in America living in areas without access to fruit and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains and dairy, access to healthy food options could be just around the corner. Take a stance to increase affordable healthy food options in your neighborhood’s corner stores. [LINK TO ARTICLE ON WEBSITE ON CORNER STORE HEALTHY OFFERINGS INITIATIVES]

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

  • Do you have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats like chicken and turkey, and dairy and whole grain products like milk, yogurt, whole grain breads, and pastas? Nearly 30 million people in America who rely on convenience stores for food options do not. Small food stores commonly sell highly processed foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar and low in nutrients. See how you can change what’s #justaroundthecorner [LINK TO ARTICLE ON WEBSITE ON CORNER STORE HEALTHY OFFERINGS INITIATIVES].

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

  • A bill that promotes state funding to create or expand healthy corner store options can have a direct, positive impact on helping children grow up at a healthy weight. Send a letter to [INSERT DECISION MAKER’S NAME] and encourage convenience stores to provide healthy food offerings, like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats like chicken and turkey, and dairy and whole grain products like milk, yogurt, whole grain breads, and pastas.
  • Nearly 30 million people in neighborhoods across America have little or no access to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. A chance at a healthier life could be just around the corner. Ask [INSERT DECISION MAKER’S NAME] to support initiatives that promote improving healthy food offerings in local corner stores.

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 nearly 30 million Americans lack access to healthy food? The solution could be #justaroundthecorner [INSERT LINK]

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

  • For many families in #[STATE] the path to a healthier life is #justaroundthecorner. Learn more: [INSERT LINK]

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

  • #DYK Providing access to healthy food creates more jobs in the neighborhood? Learn more [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 neighborhood healthy food access was so informative! Thanks for sharing. #justaroundthecorner

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.

  • .@[LEGISLATOR’S NAME] A chance to help children grow up at a healthy weight is #justaroundthecorner. Support healthy food financing programs in your district [INSERT LINK]
  • .@[LEGISLATOR’S NAME] Support healthy food offerings in every corner store around #[STATE] to make the healthier choice the easier choice.

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.