Every single member of Congress is on social media. I am going to repeat that – there are 535 ways for you to contact members of Congress on Twitter, 535 ways to contact members of Congress on Facebook, and even a few ways on Instagram, Flickr, and Youtube. To find your members of Congress on social media, go to their website (usually lastname.senate.gov or lastname.house.gov) and look near the top right corner or on the ‘contact’ page.
For you as an advocate, being able to use social media to speak out can mean a few things –
- You can contact your members of Congress quickly and easily, and keep your message short and sweet.
- You can be creative with what you send to your member of Congress. A photo, video, or link to an article are all options. If you care about education, maybe send a photo of your child doing schoolwork asking that all children receive the same, and explaining why the picture is so meaningful to you. Using your phone, make a short video in your neighborhood with different constituents showing and telling why they care. The possibilities are endless!
- You can show others that you are an advocate, and that it is easy. If someone is your friend on Facebook, or follows you on Instagram, they can see that you are using these platforms to advocate to your members of Congress and quickly catch on. As they like or share your post, your message is magnified. If they decide to do something similar on their own, your influence is multiplied.
- You can follow what your member of Congress is doing, share your opinions via comments, and ask them to talk about issues they may not be talking about.
In a poll of House and Senate offices by the Congressional Management Foundation, three quarters of senior staff said that between one and 30 comments on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were enough to grab their attention on an issue. Thirty-five percent said that fewer than 10 comments were enough.
If you are not sure how to get started, we have included our Social Media Guide for Advocates. You can download and share this guide that includes everything from setting up accounts and managing privacy settings, to building a network, and tips for successful advocacy.
We have pre written tweets on some issues if you would like to get started. Click below –
This post is a part of our Talking to Congress series where we are sharing how to use emails, phone calls, and more in the most effective ways. If you would like to see a topic covered, or if you have any questions, leave a comment below!
Photo: In Tanzania, children use laptops, given under World Vision support. © 2015 World Vision