In today’s tech-driven world, we have access to a dizzying amount of information at our fingertips. With all that information overload, businesses are continually challenged to find creative ways to harness the power of social media to stand out from the crowd.
As a business tool, social media can help foster relationships with your clients; it can serve as a bulletin board to share important news and information with the public; and it can even help drive revenue.
But how can social media be used to bolster advocacy efforts?
Social media gives you a platform from which to share the messages your business feels strongly about with a larger audience. The backbone of advocacy is finding tactics to get your cause, message or policy position heard. Social media platforms give you a voice that can reach thousands of people—including audiences with which you may not have previously interacted—within a matter of seconds.
Where should you begin?
With so many social media platforms out there and endless possibilities for how to use them, how do you know what will work best for you and your business? The answer is that there’s no right answer, and what works for you may not work for the business down the street. Social media is all about timing, carefully crafting your message and leveraging the right platforms for the groups you want to reach.
If you are hoping to reach professional policymakers you probably wouldn’t choose to use Snapchat to share your message. Each social media channel has its strengths and weaknesses and some work better for advocacy than others. Here’s a guide to help you get started:
Who uses it? Members of Congress, Congressional staffers, state and local policymakers, professional organizations, clients and consumers.
What advocacy information should I share? Twitter is an online news and networking platform best used for blog posts, resources, infographics, advocacy campaign information and updates.
How often should I share information? Post daily or multiple times each day to reach the greatest number of people.
Benefits: Twitter lets you have real-time conversations, and allows your content to be read by both followers and non-followers with the use of hashtags so you can reach a broader audience.
Who uses it? Colleagues, businesses and organizations, clients and consumers.
What advocacy information should I share? LinkedIn is a professional networking platform best used to share articles/blogs, research and current events or announcements.
How often should I share information? A few times a week if you wish to successfully establish your name/brand and reach the greatest number of followers.
Benefits: LinkedIn lets you easily network with others, helps build your credibility and establish you as an expert in the field, and can help elevate important news items you share.
Who uses it? Politicians and political affiliates, businesses and organizations, clients and consumers.
What advocacy information should I share? Facebook is a social networking site best used for blog posts, pictures and graphics, links to resources and items that require someone to take an action.
How often should I share information? Facebook is designed for regular posting once every day or two if you wish to stay relevant and connected with followers.
Benefits: Facebook lets you easily share pictures and graphics, allows others to share your content to boost your reach and is the most widely used social media platform.
Including social media in your advocacy and outreach efforts can help you establish friendly yet professional relationships with your clients and amplify your message to levels not possible with traditional marketing techniques alone.
Check out how ACE Advocacy uses social media by following us on Twitter.