Legislators and staffers often wear many hats, including the role of social media manager. Is it possible to build an engaged social media following while juggling other priorities? Yes! And having a solid strategy can help.
A successful social media strategy requires more than tweeting regularly—it involves identifying realistic goals and concrete steps to reach those goals. Use the prompts and resources below to start developing a social strategy today.
- Who is my audience? What content can I uniquely offer them?
- What should my social media profile convey at first glance?
- What should my followers know or feel when they see my content?
Style & Tone
- What visuals should be most prominent? (GIFs from popular culture, personal photos, community events, etc.)
- Should my tone be conversational? Formal?
- How often do I respond to constituents? (This may change depending on the platform.)
- Where is my voice needed? Where can I elevate someone else’s voice?
- What holidays and commemorative dates do I want to post about?
- What parts of my personal life am I comfortable sharing? How often do I want my face to appear on my feed?
- What information can I provide that my constituents may not be seeing elsewhere?
- What issues should be reflected on my account?
- Who am I aligning myself with? What organizations, thought leaders, other electeds should I be retweeting or engaging with?
Cheatsheet: Help! What Should I Post?
- Write a thread: Explain your priorities for the session or some of the barriers to the work you're doing.
- Tip: Use simple language and link to articles that have more information.
- Compare and contrast to other states
- Tip: Browse NCSL’s list of legislature social media accounts and look at what legislatures in other states are posting about. Look for an issue relevant to your state and use it as an example to draw a comparison.
- Cite a statistic: Use an engaging stat to start a discussion about an issue area.
- Tip: Find a reliable source (e.g. Guttmacher for repro, Brennan Center for voting rights) and find a stat that captures the importance of the issue. The more localized the stat, the better. (If you have space in the post, credit the source by tagging them—you may get an RT!)
- On This Day: Use Google Photos or Twitter advanced search to find a photo you took on this day (or thereabouts) in a previous year. Or use OnThisDay.com, Equal Justice Initiative's calendar, and similar sources to find a societal date or holiday to recognize.
- Tip: Set a reminder in advance of the date.
- Tell a constituent story: Share an anonymized (unless you have permission) story about a constituent’s experience or an anecdote about a recurring theme you're hearing from constituents.
- Ask a question: Ask your constituents a question—but be prepared for the responses!
Don't have time?
- Repost a Tweet: Use Twinsta or TweetPik to repost a recent tweet to Facebook and/or Instagram. In the caption, re-emphasize the messaging in your original tweet or add more insight.
- Quote an Article: What’s the last great article you read? Pull your favorite quote from it and post. Even better: add a little insight after the quote.
- Tip: Paste the article's URL in the Twitter search box, and see who else has posted the article.
- Respond: Instead of publishing an original tweet, reply to someone else’s tweet.
Tools & Resources
(All of these websites are free to use, but some have premium options for more features.)
- Animoto: online video creation
- Buffer: Simple social media scheduling
- Burst, Pexels, Pixabay, & Unsplash : Free high-quality stock photos
- Canva: Ready-made graphic templates and graphic creation tools
- Feedly: News aggregator app
- Google Alerts: Set up alerts about keywords
- Tip: Use Google search operators to refine your results
- Hootsuite: More advanced social media scheduling
- Omnilink and Linktree: Instagram “link in bio” manager
- Pocket: Save and organize a reading list of articles.
- Spark: Make simple videos on desktop or mobile
- Search Twitter More Efficiently with These Search Operators | LifeHacker
- Is Your Social Media Accessible to Everyone? These 9 Best Practices Can Help | Shondland