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Get social—before the Advocacy Summit!
Using Twitter to contact your members of Congress is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to send a message to your representatives.
Social media can play a big role in advocacy. You can spread a message, organize, and contact people who may be out of reach otherwise. Twitter is an especially important platform for advocates, because nearly every member of Congress has a Twitter account. We want to make sure our advocates are well-resourced, so we've created this little guide on how to set up your Twitter account and get in on the conversation.
If you're coming to our Advocacy Summit later this month and don't yet have a Twitter account, you'll want to set yours up before the event so you don't miss out on some great chances to use social media to connect with your fellow advocates, friends at home and members of Congress.
Here are 3 easy steps to set up your Twitter account and get started:
STEP 1 – Create an account
You can begin by visiting Twitter.com. Once you reach Twitter, you will see an icon that says “Sign up” on the top right part of your screen. Click this icon and it will take you to the registration screen. Here, you will be asked to enter your name, email address and to choose a username.
Your username must be unique to you – no other Twitter user can have the same name. Twitter will let you know if the name you want is already taken. For advocacy purposes, it’s usually best to go with something that includes your real name – you want your representative to know you are a real constituent.
*If your name is already taken, you can use a slight variation by using a period or underscore (i.e. kate_case or kate.case).
STEP 2 – Find and follow IJM’s accounts to stay up to date on advocacy
Before we start tweeting, let’s get connected with @IJM and @FreedomCommons. You can follow as many other Twitter users as you would like, and the tweets from the users you follow will show up in your Twitter feed.
To find a Twitter account, use the search bar in the top right hand corner. To find IJM, just type IJM, click on the user and you will be sent to IJM’s Twitter profile. Click follow to receive tweets from IJM in your Twitter feed. Let’s find Freedom Commons. Search, click, follow. It’s as simple as that.
STEP 3 – Find and use Freedom Commons lists
Now that you have followed @FreedomCommons, you can use the handy list feature that we have created for our advocates. On the @FreedomCommons profile, click lists near the top menu bar. After you click on lists, you will see a list for each state, in alphabetical order from the bottom up. These lists contain the Twitter profile information for each senator and representative from that state who uses Twitter. Scroll down and click on your state. After clicking the state name, click on Members in the top left of your screen. You can now see a list which of your Members of Congress are on Twitter and follow them from the same page. Feel free to also follow those Members of Congress so that you can stay up to date with that they are doing.
Now you’re equipped to use Twitter at the Advocacy Summit and beyond!