Social media might be a powerful tool, and Dr. David K. Rehr, Law Professor at George Mason University, questions whether or not there is evidence to support social media’s “advocacy efficacy”!
I am certain that advocates will be able to point to successful social media campaigns. There have been numerous examples of social media platforms impacting a congressional legislative or regulatory outcome. On the other hand, there are probably just as many examples of investments in social media having little impact on advocacy initiatives. Advocates will need to be able to demonstrate objective return, so long-term use of social media continues.
Those who were involved in the research offered some great tips for those of us in the advocacy field. Here is a smattering of the comments:
“Ensure any content is relevant to their state or congressional district…”
“Be professional, be succinct, use proper grammar and sentence punctuations, and be nice…”
“Tailor your message…”
“Be specific and make it fun…”
“Photos and infographics seem to resonate with members of Congress…”
“Make sure staffers and legislators see your various postings…”
“Use positive messaging…”
“Reinforce ‘back home’…”
Social media in advocacy is here to stay. But for the platforms to remain a long-term advocacy tool, more empirical work will need to be done to establish the efficacy of the advocacy tool.