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Digital Tips: We ❤️ Legislator Tweets
May 10, 2021

This resource is adapted from our Digital Tips e-mail series. To sign up to receive these resources in your inbox regularly, join our network.


In this issue of Digital Tips, we’ll help inspire your social strategy by analyzing three tweets from legislators in our network.

Tutorial: Tweets from Legislators

A check-in tweet from Sen. Julie Gonzales

Why We Love It

Colorado State Sen. Julie Gonzales’ tweet illustrates how informal but genuine posts can enrichen your social media strategy. Asking your audience a question—and then engaging with their answers— is a great way to build community and connect directly with constituents.

Tips

It takes time to build a space where people feel comfortable sharing publicly. Don’t be discouraged if, at first, you don’t get responses. Try enlisting a colleague or friend to answer the question (using their account) so that you can reduce the barrier to participation for other followers.

You can also tailor your question to a particular issue you’re championing. For example, if you’re advocating for expanded child care access, you can ask, “Parents and caretakers: what’s been your experience finding child care for your kids?”

An accessible explainer thread from Rep. Rayner-Goolsby

Why We Love It

This tweet from Florida Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby is the first in a four-part thread about the ongoing battle over voter restrictions in Florida. Sometimes, it’s precisely when an issue is front-page news that an accessible explainer is needed.

Tips

 In addition to drawing upon facts, use personal anecdotes (or constituent experiences) to present a complete picture and leave readers with a memorable mental image.
 

Whenever possible, avoid legislative jargon if there’s a more straightforward way to get across the same point.

A heartfelt message from Sen. Polehanki

Why We Love It

Michigan State Sen. Dayna Polehanki’s video for Teacher Awareness Week is an excellent example of how a thoughtful message—whether written or on video—can set your content apart and make your followers feel seen.

Tips

Captioning your videos is essential, and there are lots of low-cost and free ways to do it. Here are a few tools I like: MixCaptions (free or paid; for desktop and mobile), Kapwing (free or paid; best for desktop), and Rev.com (paid; for desktop.)

Finally, note that the length of Sen. Polehanki’s video is just 37 seconds. Though Twitter videos can be up to 140 seconds long, it’s best to keep them short.

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