Campaigning: using social media

Tips and tricks for using social media when campaigning.

Where to start?

It can feel overwhelming when considering how to start campaigning online. There are so many kinds of social media and ways of using digital to communicate. These tips on navigating social media will assist in boosting your campaign and reaching your supporters.

1. Consider your capacity level

If you have limited time and resources, it may be a frustrating mission to try and update several different social media profiles on a regular basis with fresh content. If this is the case, try and focus on just one or two channels to direct your energy into. You'll want to choose channels that your main audience is using.

2. Consider your audience and tailor your content

For example, posts for supporters may focus on wins from your campaign or ways to get involved. To attract attention, a different approach such as a dramatic headline or infographic will raise awareness of your campaign.

3. Make your account name easy to remember

When picking a username/account name, choose something simple and easy to remember. Double check that there isn’t someone else with the same or a very similar name for their organisation. Try and keep it consistent across different platforms and as close to your organisation's name as possible. For example, ours is @GoodThingsFdn!

4. Use free design tools

You can save money by using free graphic design tools such as Canva or royalty free stock photography sites like Unsplash.

5. Share new information

Keep it fresh. Share new information throughout your campaign. This could be facts, statistics, news or a personal story. Storytelling is an important part of attracting support for your campaign.

6. Encourage engagement with your audience

Invite engagement. Ask your follower base to share their own stories, interact with the post or even use a poll tool.

Tips about formatting on social media

1. Always include a call to action

Ask your follower base to take action: sign a petition, write to an MP, share the post itself. There are many options. Enable people to get involved in various ways, from simply ‘liking’ the post to being a volunteer or a professional contact.

2. Tailor the content to the style of the platform

For short form posts like on X (formerly Twitter), keep it short and to the point. On Facebook you can go longer form. On Instagram, it’s more image based. 

3. Tag other organisations

Tagging other organisations using their account handle (their username on the platform) is a great way to boost both of your profiles, especially when you have collaborated or they have contributed to the campaign.

4. Don’t be afraid to use hashtags!

Aim for hashtags that are broad enough to reach a good amount of people who may be interested in the issues, but not so broad or obscure that they won’t be searched for. For example, #DigitalInclusion is more useful than #Computers.

And finally, don't forget to... 

Make it easy for your average social media user. If you’ve posted about an opportunity on Instagram, make sure that the same opportunity is visible on your website. Add links to your social media posts into emails so recipients can view your social media channels with minimal effort. 

Consider paying to boost or promote one or two posts that are the most crucial for people to know. For example, the launch of a new campaign or a call to action. For a small fee, many social media platforms will temporarily share your post with a much wider audience.

Evaluate what works. Most social media platforms have tools to check engagement levels (how many people looked at your post, ‘liked’ it or commented and so on). Use these analytics to understand the factors affecting engagement and concentrate your efforts on when/where/how you get the biggest impact.

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