How can I use social media to increase my campaign reach?

Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to connect your project to more people in your area. All you need to do is use the search functions and start reaching out!

For most campaigns to be a success, at some point you will need to go beyond the people you know personally and start to reach a wider audience. 

In the past this would have meant things like speaking at local events, putting up posters, handing out flyers, that sort of thing. And we definitely recommend that if you have the means you should do these things - they will certainly help.

Luckily though there are other ways which can really amplify your campaign and allow it to reach potentially thousands of people with a few clicks. 

Both Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to search out local individuals and groups who either live in or identify with your area. There's a bit of etiquette involved, so read on to find out how you can effectively harness the power of social media.

Note: you will need Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to follow these steps

Facebook

Step 1: Type your area in the search box

Step 2: Filter the results by pages

Facebook and Twitter guide (1)

Step 3: See if the page is relevant and could realistically promote your campaign. Look at how many people 'like' the page, as this will indicate the size of its audience. If it looks good, get in touch with the page promoter - do not post directly on the page.  You can then liaise with the page promoter with a view to them making a post on their page on your behalf. 

Step 4. Go back to the results page and now filter by groups.

Facebook and Twitter guide (3)

Step 5. Request to join relevant groups. Groups are more discussion-based. In some cases you may be asked a few questions in order to gain access. These questions are generally there to ensure that you are not a spammer. Once you have access you can then make a post, however it's advisable to wait a few days and observe the group's culture - what do people talk about, how do people respond, etc. Maybe join in existing conversations before starting your own. When you do make a post about your project, try to keep it short and invite feedback. People don't always respond well to unknown posters talking superlatively about their own initiatives. Don't let this put you off, but just take care online as people can sometimes be a bit more aggressive than they would be in real life. 

Twitter

Step 1: Type your area in the search box 

Step 2: Filter the results by People. Scroll through the results and read the bios of the accounts to see which ones could be a good fit to share your campaign. Check to see how many followers the account has by hovering your mouse over the account's name.  

Step 3: Tweet the account and ask if it would be willing to share (or 'RT'/retweet) your campaign. Make sure you put the @mention at the start of the tweet, this means that the tweet does not go out to all your own followers (this can get repetitive for your followers if they are seeing all your outreach). The aim here is to access the followers of the account you are tweeting.

That's all! Have fun exploring your area's digital life!