This helpful social media guide was created to complement the guides that LWVUS has on it's League Management site.
This guide provides you with the Do’s and Don’ts, useful tips and tricks, and a check-list to help you get started with engaging your community through social media.
Already using social media for your league? This guide will provide more resources to increase your followers, community engagement, and content management.
Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
- DO post pretty often but make sure what you post is high quality. 1-2 posts a day is a great goal but a good place to start is to aim for 2-3 posts a week and build from there. When thinking of quality consider if you saw your post on a different account, would it be worth your attention?
- DO use photos, graphics, and videos to create dynamic and interactive content, and to get your point across with less text. Posts with photos and videos, especially those featuring real people, tend to get more views, reach, and engagement than plain text posts. Keep an eye on your engagement; it is the metric you most want to see increasing over time because it essentially tells you how well your content resonates with your community.
- DO use emojis to make your text more approachable. Just a reminder, emojis have a wider context outside of their literal meaning, so make sure you are comfortable using them. For example, the goat emoji can also mean G.O.A.T. which means Greatest of All Time.
- DO make your posts accessible. Be mindful of font size, color choices, and poor quality images that are hard to see. Add alternative text to images as much as possible to increase readability for the visually impaired. If you have league members that can help translate your posts into other languages, try to do so.
- DO practice using gender inclusive language in your captions and graphic text. Examples:
- "Folks" or "everybody" instead of "guys" or "ladies/gentleman".
- "People" instead of "men/women".
- "Members of Congress" instead of "congressmen".
- "Councilperson" instead of "councilman/councilwoman".
- "First-year student" instead of "freshman".
- DO use straightforward, informal language when you can, and remember less is more. Captions don’t need to be wordy or contain a lot of hard to understand vocabulary. Stay away from political jargon, as many people may not be familiar with it. Think: could someone who is just learning to read understand my message?
- DO your research. If you are presenting facts or statistics, make sure you look them up from verified sources to combat misinformation and prevent disinformation. Cite your sources directly in your post often and when appropriate.
- DO follow up with people who reach out on social media! A quick turnaround time on replies can make the difference between a new member or alienating someone forever. It can be as simple as “liking” a user comment to let them know you’ve seen it.
- DO create a personal, conversational tone. Engage your audience directly using words like “you”, “we” and “because”. Use polls and surveys to bring them in and encourage commenting and conversation. Followers like to feel that there is a real person running your page, just be mindful of how casual you come off. Find a balance that works for you, your league and your followers.
- Don’t neglect the value of a good caption! Captions are a great place to land links, expand on your thoughts and information or make something funny and approachable.
- Don't confuse "partisan" with "political" when deciding what you post. The League is political and takes positions on policies, but we never support/oppose candidates or parties. Refer to the LWVUS Nonpartisanship in Social Media guide for more on this.
- Don’t engage publicly with misinformation and disinformation online. That means, don't repeat/reshare/retweet innacurate information, even if you're trying to point out that it is innacurate. If something is egregiously wrong and could cause harm, report it or flag it. Don't comment, react, or share it. If you want others to know something untrue is going around on social media, send a personal message.
- Don’t simply use your social media page as a community bulletin board. Understand social media has its limitations. It is most effective when used as a tool for bringing community members into your in-person/virtual league work.
- Don’t be afraid to delete a post. If you are unsure or change your mind about something, delete it, even if it already has shares, likes or comments!
- Don’t post anything you are unsure about. If you don’t feel confident in a post, leave it off your page. It is more than okay to skip a few days of posting rather than put out posts that you aren’t proud of. When in doubt, ask someone else to take a look before posting.
- Don’t get too personal. Remember this account represents your league and should always reflect LWV standards, policies, and positions so don’t get off brand.
- Don’t stick with the same approach if you aren’t seeing results. All social media platforms provide insights and reports to help you see what is working and what isn’t. Feel free to change gears as much as possible until you find what works for you.
- Don’t try too hard. Social media can feel overwhelming, especially with constantly changing trends and platforms. It’s important to post naturally and speak from the experience you and your league have. Do what you can, when you can.
- Don’t forget to have fun with it! Social media is a great way to highlight the success of your events, promote fact-checked information in a funny way (we all love to laugh) and express the joy that your members get from working in your league. Share that!
Tips and Tricks for Successful Social Media Management
- Know your audience. If setting up your social media account for the first time, factor in your region’s community and what they may want to see from you. If already on social media, take into account the followers you already have and think of the people you want to reach. Are you looking to reach more first-time voters? Increase league membership? Promote your league as an inclusive space? This will help guide what types of posts you create.
- You aren’t alone. Though being original as much as possible is what will help your account stand out and hold your followers’ attention, don’t feel like you have to create all original content all the time. Repost content from other accounts to help balance out your workload.
- Reshare good content. LWVUS, LWVCT, and other local leagues in Connecticut (and across the country) are already using social media. Follow them to help cross promote information, increase your followers, and build your credibility.
- Creating content can feel overwhelming if you aren’t a confident writer or don’t know where to source information. Use the LWVUS, LWVCT, and Vote411 websites and social media accounts to get vetted information, verbiage, and language. Cite often by sharing links to the source.
- Use hashtags wisely and tag other social media accounts accordingly. Before you use a hashtag, search for it using the search bar within a platform to see what kind of posts have also used the same hashtag and how many times it’s been used.
- Design for the platform you’re using. There are certain limitations or even “unspoken” rules that you should design your content around. For example, Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in captions, so it’s best to find alternative ways to post links on Instagram (the IG story link sticker or a link in your bio) vs Facebook or Twitter where links can be shared right in post.
- When deciding what kind of content you want to create, consider the platform. Instagram is great for very visual content like photo series. Facebook is great for sharing links and captions with longer text. Twitter is a great place to host polls/ surveys and short, quick content like election date reminders or live Q & A sessions.
- Connect your social media presence with your league’s in-person work. Some suggestions for how to do that include: Print and attach QR codes at your tabling events that folks can scan to immediately follow your social accounts; create flyers with the icons of your social media platforms on them; document your in-person events on your social media accounts by sharing promotional event flyers, and pictures/videos of the event taking place.
- Focus on creating posts that are fun, engaging, and truly reflect your league. Authenticity is an important part of building trust with your audience.
Social Media Starter Check-List
- Map out a plan for your social media account. Consider your league’s goals and overall message as well as your community.
- Decide who from your league is managing your accounts.
- Choose your social media platforms. The main platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. But don’t feel you need to use all or most of these. Choose what works best for your league and your community.
- Make your social media account(s). Make sure that all usernames and passwords are in a shared location that can be accessed by the league even if the person you chose to manage your social media isn't available. Hint: Feel free to model your account after LWVCT
- Add your league’s basic information to each social media profile, such as website link, league description, etc. Feel free to switch up your profile pictures for each platform but be sure that all your league specific information matches on each site.
- Familiarize yourself with your social media platform. This means understanding how to create different types of posts, the settings of your account, and check out other accounts online.
- Create your first post. Remember to include photos, graphics, or videos to make it as engaging as possible.
- Plan out a series of posts for your platform for a set period of time e.g. your first week of posting
- Create your first series of posts. Some social media platforms allow you to schedule posts in advance. You can also use social media management tools to help schedule posts such as Meta Business Suite, Constant Contact or Hootsuite (some of these may have a cost for use).
- Follow other social media accounts on your platform, starting with LWVCT’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. When you first sign up, most social media platforms will make suggestions for who to follow based on the details you enter for your account description.
- Make a calendar where you can track all of your upcoming or scheduled social media posts. Google Calendar is a great way to do this because it allows you to share calendars and collaborate with other league members helping with your social media. Not on Google? Ask the LWVCT office about setting up a Google Workspace for your league, if interested.
Congratulations, You have set-up your first social media account and are on your way. Happy Posting!
For more social media help, check out the LWVUS Social Media Guide.