Civic Engagement and Advocacy Blog

Getting Started on Facebook for an Advocacy Campaign

Posted by Brian Banbridge on 8/19/13 2:20 PM

How to use your Facebook page for grassroots advocacy

Using Facebook to build an advocacy campaign is an excellent way to grow a large base of fans and followers. When the time comes for your organization to take action, you can call upon these people to participate in your legislative efforts. Using Facebook can also be a bit tricky, but if you plan your campaigns carefully and follow these tips, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Build your following

Start by inviting your friends, employees, and colleagues to “like” your page. In the world of Facebook, this is the easiest way to get started. Once you have a few fans, start posting engaging content for everyone to read. Make sure the content is interesting and will get people engaged in discussion.

This is your experimental period. Use it to determine what works, and what doesn’t. Try posting everything from pictures to essays, and use the page tracking features to see what people are reading, sharing, and commenting on.

Reach out and spread your roots

Facebook is all about building connections. It is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon on steroids, and you should use this to your advantage. Reach out to like-minded pages and ask their page administrators to share your page with their fan base. When you do this, introduce yourself and tell them why you want to build a partnership and need their help. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t. It’s a trial and error process, but it can help your page grow quickly and efficiently.

Remember, Facebook is a conversation, not a monologue

Post regularly and keep the conversation going. This can be hard to do sometimes, but if you get into a pattern and make it part of your routine, the results will be well worth it. Keep on top of daily events and post things that will be relevant to your fans. Don’t just report the news; instead post the news and share your two-cents with everyone.

That’s Facebook 101, but how do you use Facebook for grassroots advocacy?

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This is where the fun begins, but you have to do all that prep work first. Once that’s done, now you can engage in advocacy because now you have a loyal following that listens to what you have to say and is willing to act on it.  This is important because Facebook is like a giant bar where everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs saying “Look at me!”

If you want people to pay attention to you, they first have to know you.  They have to trust you.  They have to want to engage with you. It should be fun when possible and always action oriented.

When the time comes to engage them in advocacy, you’ll need to kick things up a notch.  You’ll have to stoke the fire to make them want to get engaged. When you’re doing this, you should consider the following with your posts.

1. Keep your advocacy posts short and direct. You have mere seconds to grab your readerships attention and convince them to dig deeper. Don’t hesitate to try something like the following:

*** Call to action!***
Yesterday, Senator SoSo introduced HR 1776, a bill that would limit the number of earthworms fisherman can have in their tackle box.

As professional fisherman, we need you to contact Senator SoSo at 202-456-1414 and let him know that this legislation is not only ridiculous, but could lead to the overpopulation of Bass populations throughout the south.  If we all call, we can make a difference and stop this bill before it goes any further.

            (Yes, hyperbole is aok! Get your followers riled up, and they’re more likely to act             on your advocacy requests.)

2. Post your advocacy requests with pictures and links. The pictures should grab their attention, and the links should give them all the information they need to know in order to take action.

3. Stay positive.  People respond to positive messages at a far greater rate than negative calls to action. It up to you to learn how to say “The world is falling apart” with a smile on your face.

Get more social media tips for use in your grassroots advocacy campaigns and share ways you have engaged on pending legislation on social media.

Image credit. 

Brian Banbridge

Written by Brian Banbridge

Topics: grassroots advocacy, advocacy campaign