Up next in How to Enact Political Change (11 videos)
Enacting political change takes more than good intentions -- these Howcast videos will help you get down to brass tacks. You'll learn how to use Twitter to effect social change; how to hold a mobile fundraiser; how to launch a human rights blog; how to be an effective dissident; how to create a grassroots movement using social networking sites; how to smart mob; and much more.
You Will Need
- A Twitter account
- Multilingual capabilities
Be authentic and trustworthy
Be authentic. Even when posting updates on behalf of your movement or organization, always tweet as you, a real person who is passionate about your cause. Tweets that sound like commercials or marketing jargon will turn off followers.
Update your feed frequently to spread awareness and create a growing body of engaged advocates and volunteers. Share your reaction to relevant news, ask followers for their thoughts, post links, and retweet, or repost other people's tweets. Create conversations and establish relationships with your followers by responding to their posts with @messages.
Organize your tweets by using hashtags, a way to identify tweets related to a certain topic. Designate a word or phrase related to your movement by prefacing it with the hash, or pound (#), symbol. Other users can then easily search for posts on that topic, and use the same hashtag when they're discussing it, helping to spread your message further.
Track hashtags related to your cause, either by searching on Twitter or by using an application that lets you manage several topics and users at once, like TweetDeck. Not only will this keep you up-to-date on what people are saying or linking to, it will help you find new like-minded people to follow, who may in turn follow you.
Disseminate and mobilize
When news develops around your cause or an event, alert your followers in real-time -- and issue a call to action. Sending out the time and location for a meeting or protest can be an effective way to mobilize a large number of people on short notice.
Be a watchdog
Make the most of Twitter's real-time advantage. When news breaks, updates from on-the-scene citizen reporters can provide valuable information to others in the area, and can document for the outside world a more complete, nuanced picture of what's really happening on the ground.
Attract a global audience
Tweet in multiple languages. If your native tongue is one that most foreign media won't understand, your cause will need updates that target a global audience. Also consider translating and retweeting as many trustworthy posts as you can to provide easy, immediate access to more voices than just your own. It takes many streams to form a mighty river.