Social media team for activist group
May 1, 2021 10:46 PM   Subscribe

A social media team is formally forming for my activist group. It is meeting soon. Help me get it off the ground.

I am the communications chair for a statewide activist group. I rarely do anything with social media myself. We have a couple of people who have been doing our Facebook page for years. But I haven’t been paying attention to it. I don’t even know whether I can access my own Facebook page. (Time is short.)

I don’t foresee making any changes with our Facebook page. Those people have been operating on their own for a while and seem like they are doing fine, as far as I can tell. I don’t think they would take well to supervision at this point.

We have three other people who are active on their own social media accounts and want to help make a presence for our group on other channels, such as Twitter and Instagram. In case it matters, two of these three are people of color, and two of them are younger than many of us in the activist group.

The social media team is having our first meeting soon, but I am not sure what we should tackle and how. One goal is to somehow have the Facebook people and the new people on the same page. One of the new people has asked for guidelines. I am unsure where to start to develop those.

There is one of the new people that I am thinking of putting in charge of the team. He is the only one of the new people without other volunteer duties in the group.

Do you have any tips or concise resources for me or us?
posted by NotLost to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I do this for a living (advise advocacy organizations on their digital content and social media strategy). If I were working with you as a client, the first thing I would ask is what you want these social media channels to do for your organization. Do you want to use them to mobilize people? To grow your membership? To disseminate information about the issues you work on?

Well, it's probably all of the above, but I think you'll be best off if you can agree on a priority. It might be a different priority for each channel (ie, Twitter is pretty much only useful for communicating with reporters and the staffers of elected officials, or breaking news, Facebook is best for getting people to actually take some sort of action but Zuckerberg is steadily ruining that, Instagram and Tik Tok are great for education and slowly growing in terms of actually engaging people). So ideally you'd put resources into the channel that reflects your organizational priorities, though realistically you'll probably prioritize the channels your team members are most interested in!

You don't have to be active on every channel. It's ok to focus on just one or two.

I do think it's good to have some sort of message discipline across channels. This can be difficult with an all-volunteer team, but I think it's a worthwhile thing to aim for. Could be as simple as community guidelines (things that are and are not ok to say either from your organizational voice or as comments on posts by the community) and general talking points about your organization and issue.

Finally, I think a bare-bones content strategy is great to have. Again, doesn't need to be anything fancy. Could just be "on FB, each week we'll share 2 articles about our issue, something from an allied organization, and 2 pieces of our own content." Plus a sense of what kind of content you'll share on each platform and who is responsible for what. (ie, Jamie is great at fun video, so they are in charge of tiktok as well as IG reels/stories. Ria is a newshound so she will find articles to share on FB.)

This is all the GOAL. You don't need to decide all of this at your first meeting. But this might be helpful as a general roadmap. Good luck and have fun!
posted by lunasol at 11:05 PM on May 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

One thing to think about is don't assume that the younger people are more knowledgeable than everyone else about social media. They might be (in which case great) but it's really unhelpful to assume that younger people are better and older people are worse at social media, it varies a lot and older people are often more knowledgeable about eg Facebook and community development on social media, sometimes without realising it.

Also, there is a difference between using social media in your private life and using social media to 'do something'. People who only use social media socially might need to learn new skills to help effectively (which they can, and practice is good). Using social media to do something is actually pretty similar to using posters / emails / newspapers to do something once you are comfortable with the mechanics of the platform.
posted by plonkee at 5:23 AM on May 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you. This will help us get a foundation for the team.
posted by NotLost at 6:30 AM on May 3, 2021

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