Using Social Media to Promote Events
These days a lot of people use Social Media like Facebook and Twitter. Including outreach in these arenas will help spread the word about your event in an important way. Keep in mind that phone calls are still the most effective way to reach people, but using social media and email can help create a buzz about your event, especially with a younger audience.
Invite everyone you’re connected to on Facebook. Using your personal Facebook profile, create a Facebook event invitation. This invitation will be the home base for getting people excited about your event.
a) When? Insert the date and start time of your choice.
b) What are you planning? Use a catchy title, provocative question, or funny pun to make your event memorable. For example:
c) Where? Don’t just put the street address, make sure people know that you’re making the extra effort to host the event because you really believe in this cause. Add a line like, “At my house, because I want to be there when this gets started!” Then add your street address or other instructions, such as where to park or how to call your apartment to be buzzed in.
d) More info? YES! Always include more info. A link to the online action page can be helpful, but your personal statement is always more powerful. Let folks know why you’re throwing this event and what you hope to accomplish.
e) Who’s invited? Select guests from your Facebook friends – invite people even if you know they can’t attend; they may know someone they can tell about the event. Check yes next to the boxes for ‘Show the guest list on the event page’ and ‘Non-admins can write on the wall’.
f) Add a photo! Use one of the images we’ve created or make your own perfect picture.
g) Shorten the URL. After you’ve created the event, use a URL shortener like TinyURL or bit.ly to create a shorter, more manageable URL for your invitation. A shorter URL is less likely to be lost in translation from one post to another.
Expand the audience by targeting existing groups that have similar audiences or issues of concern. Find the Facebook pages for the city council, PTA, political science association at your college, etc., and post a link to your invitation on their wall. Customize your message to suit the group.
Don’t forget to include your local news organizations – tell them why this action is newsworthy and important to their readers! For example:
- PTA: Parents are critical players in the fight for fair politics. Please come to a house party to hear the Move to Amend message about gearing up to take on Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited money in our elections. http://bit.ly/example [link to your FB event]
- Newspaper: Got a scoop for you – citizens in our town are getting together to plan a take-back of our democracy. Come on over on Nov. 9 to find out how Move to Amend is helping lead the people into battle for our government. http://bit.ly/example [link to your FB event]
Drill down to your inner circle and make a personal appeal to those closest to you. Use Facebook’s message feature to send a personal message to a handful of your closest friends, those who you believe will support your house party by attending, inviting others, or helping you in some other way. This message should be personal so they know it’s coming from you, not from a faceless organization.
Dear friends: you know I wouldn’t clean my house unless I had a very good reason. We all have a good reason, so I’m spiffing up the place and inviting you to a house party on November 9 to talk about how corporations are taking over our elections.
Because you’re my friend and because I know the combination to your secret lair, I’m asking you to do two things for me:
1. Please send this invitation to YOUR closest friends and ask them if they want a) government for the people or b) government for the corporations – anyone who answers A is invited to the party on November 9.
2. Bring your soapbox to my place on November 9 to hear a message from Move to Amend about gearing up to take on Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited money in our elections.
Use Twitter to drive traffic to your Facebook invitation by piquing the interest of those who follow your tweets. Starting conversations is helpful if you can commit the time to keeping them going.
- Send a tweet letting people know about the party and include a link to your Facebook invitation. Important: ask people to Plz RT!
- Identify people and groups you want to invite to the party and send tweets directly to them offering a personal invitation.
- Use the following tweet examples and write your own tweets. Make sure you are sending tweets at various times of the day, and feel free to repeat tweets that may have reached morning readers but not those who log on at night:
- The fight for democracy begins on Nov. 9 at my house. http://bit.ly/example
- Corps depends on power of $$, but democracy depends on power of the people who will party on Nov. 9. http://bit.ly/example #MoveToAmend
- 2012 elections begin on Nov. 9 at a party to plan a take-back of our government and democracy http://bit.ly/example #MovetoAmend
- Chips, dip, revolutionary democracy planning. You know, just another Nov. 9 at my house. http://bit.ly/example #MoveToAmend
- If you’re not outraged, come to my house on Nov. 9 and find out why you should be http://bit.ly/example #MoveToAmend.