Like so many things, it’s easy for social change activists to get really excited about social media and its capacity to bring people together around the causes we hold so dear, forgetting in the meantime that these new tools aren’t necessarily intuitive for all of those we’re trying to engage and, more importantly, that empowering people to use them successfully can be another opportunity to build capacity and strengthen our relationship with our constituents.
There is a lot that they’re doing so well with their web-based advocacy–great (as in horrifying and spell-binding) videos of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, up-to-date blog posts, podcasts and other informative tools, and a good social media presence–but this Twitter guide is especially impressive because it manages to walk people through how to engage on this legislative issue on Twitter, without seeming condescending or too ‘tech-y’.
And, while a guide like this can become outdated very quickly (as legislation changes and the Twitter discussion stream shifts), it provides an excellent model for organizations seeking to influence the online conversations their supporters have about their issues.
Some of the essential elements:
Does anyone have other examples of nonprofit advocacy groups producing tools like this to help advocates navigate the social media landscape? I’m especially interested in those that are campaign-specific and “battle-ready”, so to speak, so not the more involved guides that provide background information on the applications but rather quick, easy-to-use tools that can be immediately implemented in a campaign. Are you creating anything like this for your work, or might you?