Social Media and NETWORK
We mainly use two social media channels to communicate with members, reporters, other advocates, and elected officials: Facebook and Twitter. We encourage you to like or follow us on both networks, and to participate with us online in the continuing conversation about how we can #MendtheGaps.
Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the world and now plays a significant role in our nation’s political conversation. Posts published on Facebook are seen by your unique group of friends, and their friends, if they choose to share or like your posts. Celebrities, teams, organizations, and more create public Facebook profiles that anyone can see, like NETWORK’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/NETWORKLobby. We share articles, blogs, action alerts, and statements daily on the NETWORK Facebook page. To see them “like” NETWORK’s page and they will appear on your home feed.
Facebook posts can be longer than Twitter- multiple sentences, or even paragraphs- though it is best to keep your message concise as you’re competing with a lot of other content. When setting up a Facebook account, upload a profile picture and add your family and friends to your friend list.
To communicate with elected officials, you can either visit their Facebook profile and comment on their posts, or tag them by typing in their name, like this: @Senator Mitch McConnell into your own posts. We look forward to seeing you online!
Twitter is a fast-paced social media network that is useful for staying up to date on current events, political developments, as well as the ideas of thought-leaders and celebrities. Users post “tweets” – short messages that are only 140 characters or less (typically 1-2 sentences). Tweets will sometimes include a link to more in depth article or webpage, or an image. You can view the tweets of anyone who has a public profile– such as NETWORK Lobby – whether or not you have a Twitter account by going to www.twitter.com and typing their username (also known as a “handle”) into the search bar. Twitter handles are formatted with an “@” symbol in front of the name, so NETWORK’s Twitter handle is @NetworkLobby.
Tweets will generally contain or end with a hashtag, which connects it to a larger conversation. For example, NETWORK uses the hashtag #ProtectOurCare when tweeting about saving the Affordable Care Act. All tweets are sorted by hashtag, so you can search Twitter for a particular hashtag and read what different users are saying.
With your own Twitter account, you can choose different users to “follow” – see below to find a list of NETWORK staff Twitter handles – and their recent tweets will appear in your feed for you to read through. Don’t worry if you can’t read all of them! Since people tweet so frequently and at all different times of the day and night, it would be nearly impossible to read all of the tweets in your feed.
Most importantly, with your own account, you can start tweeting or retweeting (when you share someone else’s tweet) your own ideas! If you have, or want to make your own Twitter account, go to www.twitter.com and click “Sign Up” to create your account. Here are a few tips: Add a profile picture! Your tweets will be better received if we can imagine who they’re coming from. Use hashtags to join into popular conversations, or chime in on an issue you care about. Some of the hashtags we are using lately are #MendtheGaps, #ImmigrantsWelcome, and #ProtectOurCare. Tweet at someone by typing their handle into your message, for example @SpeakerRyan, then that person will be notified of your tweet.