Engage Legislators Online
- Study their online engagement style: Familiarize yourself with your Congressperson’s social media activity. This is helpful in determining what kinds of posts are most effective for catching your legislator’s attention. Is your member more active on Facebook, or Twitter? What hashtags do they frequently use? Have they responded to posts where they were tagged or retweeted?
- Determine your Ask: Directly communicate your ask in your post. Do you want your member to co-sponsor a bill, or simply raise awareness about an issue? Directly communicate your ask in your post.
- Tag your Congress Member: Tag your legislator’s official Facebook or Twitter handles in any content you want them to see. Including photos or graphics will help your post stand out and catch the office’s attention.
- Include Location to verify Constituency: Legislators prefer to engage with the people they represent. To increase the likelihood of having your member engage with your post, find a way to show that you are a constituent. One way you can do this on Facebook is by opting in to have a “constituent badge” next to your name, which signals that you are a resident of a particular state and district. Add your location to your profile on Twitter, or include your state and town in the tweet itself.
- Engage with Questions: Asking questions in your own post or responding to a legislator’s posts with follow-up questions can increase your chances of garnering engagement. Questions give members a clear way to engage and ensure that your topic of interest is brought to their attention.
- Be Persistent: Legislators are very busy and often tagged in hundreds of social media posts. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt at engagement does not get a response. Instead, use it as an opportunity to re-strategize your online engagement. Don’t give up!
- Success: Don’t let the conversation die online after your member responds to your post! Use their online engagement as an easy follow-up for in-person engagement. Reach out to their office and request a meeting or phone call.