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Use Facebook and Twitter to get your message across

You've got a wide base of supporters, you've left countless messages for your decision maker and you still haven't heard anything back. Is your decision maker active on Facebook or Twitter, interacting with followers and responding to tweets on a regular basis? If so, try building a conversation on social media to get your point across.

Social Media Toolbox

 Organize a social media rally

First, do some research. Is your decision maker more active on Twitter? Facebook? Their own website's forums? Watch how the decision maker responds to other notes from customers, constituents and followers, and decide the best avenue to get your message across. Lay the groundwork first. If your decision maker is active on Twitter, tweet at them to alert them to your campaign -- it's possible that the right person isn't aware of the petition. Then, consider:

Facebook Rally

Research your decision maker's Facebook presence.
Does your decision maker allow followers to post? Do they typically respond?
Decide what message you want your supporters to share.
"Hey Bank of America, I'm a single mother who can't afford an extra $5 fee each month. Please scrap your debit card fee!" Add the URL of the petition at the end of the message.

Email your petition signers with suggested text.

Track, and take screen shots, of their posts. Does your decision maker respond? Take note of the responses and use them to plan your next move.

Twitter Rally

Learn how your decision maker uses Twitter.
If your campaign is directed at a corporation or an organization, are there individuals who are active on personal accounts?

Write a simple, brief tweet that supporters can share.
Example: Hey @BofA_Help Stop the foreclosure on daycare owner's home! #p2

Spread the word. 
Email your petition signers and other advocates and ask them to post the tweet, and write their own, on a specific day. 

Target influential tweeters. 
Message activists, celebrities, personalities, etc. throughout the day and ask them to retweet. 

    EXAMPLE: Facebook rally tells Target, "No Dirty Gold!"

    Shoppers and advocates asking Target to consider ethical sources for the gold it sold in jewelry and electronics changed their Facebook profile pictures into letters to spell out their message: NO DIRTY GOLD. They also posted links to their petition, signed by more than 16,000, asking Target to join the "No Dirty Gold" campaign. Their creative efforts were one reason Target pledged to use responsible sources for its gold.

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Join a conversation on Twitter

Is your decision maker hosting an online conversation, or is there a Twitter conversation going on around your issue marked with a specific hashtag? To get attention from your campaign, start using the hashtag yourself to spread the word.


    EXAMPLE: #TooMuchDoubt And the Fight for Troy Davis' Life

    Online advocates used the hashtag #TooMuchDoubt to spread the word about doubt surrounding Troy Davis' Death Row sentence. When Troy's sister started a petition on, signers tweeted links to the petition with #TooMuchDoubt, making sure others following Troy's story would see the petition. Troy was tragically executed on September 21, 2011, but advocates around the world were able to change the conversation around the death penalty. 

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Create a #hashtag for your campaign

Are you fighting a longer-term campaign, one that many groups and individuals might want to tweet about? Create a hashtag for your campaign so that supporters can follow the campaign updates and talk to one another on Twitter. 

For events and actions, hashtags should be as short as possible, and should be spread widely in advance. Abbreviations and acronyms are okay (Example: #NN10 for Netroots Nation conference 2010). For branding a campaign, hashtags can be a little longer to allow for full words, and potentially, the decision maker's name (Example: #NoHersheyHalloween). 

    EXAMPLE: #Notfunnyfacebook Goes Viral On Twitter 

    After learning that Facebook refused to remove pages from their site encouraging rape and violence against women, John Raines created a petition on Facebook didn't respond to the petition, so supporters created a Twitter hashtag, #notfunnyfacebook. Facebook agreed to meet with advocates as a result. Read more about the #notfunnyfacebook Day of Action.

    Go To The Next Campaign Tool: Deliver Your Petition In Person