Social media is great to share stories and pictures of your kids, grandkids, or that amazing meal, but did you realize that it can be a powerful advocacy tool? According to congressional staff, your Facebook comment or tweet is viewed as an authentic constituent message. Over 60 percent of Hill staff agree that accessing information on social media is an important part of their daily work.
Below are some simple tips to help you be an effective advocate.
- “Like” your elected officials on Facebook
Like you, legislators will post content throughout the day to let the folks back home know that important work is being done and they are playing a key role. Legislators and their staff do read your comments and take them into consideration. Posting your story about the impacts of a piece of legislation on your farm, family or community on your legislator’s Facebook page is just as valuable as a letter or phone call. Make sure that you identify yourself as their constituent. You’ll also find out about events and opportunities like town hall meetings in the district.
2.“Follow” your elected officials on Twitter
Nearly every legislator has a Twitter account. While some members of congress will tweet more than others, this social media channel allows legislators to feel more connected to their constituents. Like Facebook comments, your tweets will be noticed. If you want your comment to be impactful, make sure to be focused on the issue. Your reputation, and that of your state and national corn association is on the line. You can disagree without being disagreeable. Treat your comments as if you are having a face-to-face conversation with that legislator or decision maker. Be calm. Be credible. How can you be more credible? Identify yourself in your comments. In your profile, be sure to describe yourself fully (farmer, seed dealer, ethanol investor, etc.) and put the name of your city and state so legislators and their staff know you are a constituent.
Social media has come a long way over the years. It is a great way to stay connected and share experiences with your friends and family. Please don’t overlook the importance of social media in your advocacy efforts for your corn association.
You can sign up to be a grassroots advocate at standupforcorn.com and tell us what issues you care about. You can also share your stories with us.