Social Media for Actions

How to build buzz and recruitment in the lead up to an action.

Looking at a case study of the People’s Climate March in New York City 2014

Communicating Your Message

  • Why should people care about this action?
  • Creating a diversity of content that inspires, educates, and activates people.
  • Make it exciting!




Think of all the different kinds of people you are trying to reach

Each campaign message could be tailored to fit each audience. What part of the campaign will each audience care about?

Brainstorm the different kinds of graphics, blogs, videos etc that would match the audience and message.

Next: Create a Calendar

Create a content calendar for your platforms? When will you prepare and release?

This will often change. You should often reassess your content and think about what should be added/changed. Keep on thinking how you can get the message out

Who do you want to participate? What do they care about?

Different content for different groups of people.

It Takes Everyone

To really build momentum and recruitment for an action you need to encourage everyone [staff, partners, volunteers, attendees] to all be creating and sharing.

Everyone has their own network of friends and supporters.

You need more than 5,000 people sharing the same post. You need 5,000 people also creating their own posts about why they’re going and what they’re doing to prepare.

Make it Easy

  • Create toolkits with sample graphics and share text

[good to be aware though that memes don’t share as well as the use to on Facebook]

  • Train volunteers and encourage staff members

  • Come up with easy asks for partner groups


  • Invite your followers to invite their friends to the Facebook event
  • Choose 1-3 days in the lead up to the action when all partner groups will email their members and push the story on social media.

Peer to Peer Recruitment

Many people will join this action because a friend or family member is also joining. An important part of recruitment is also encouraging people to reach out to their networks.

Here are some tips on how to encourage this:

  • Write a sample email that people can send to their friends and family asking them to join. Tell people they can use this or write their own.
  • Encourage people to be sharing on their own social media networks and asking people to join.
  • In the week or 2 before the action, encourage people to pick up the phone and call their friends/family
  • Ask people coming to the action to also bring along 5 friends, and then they are also responsible for updating them. For example, a person recruits 5 friends then starts a group chat on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp -- people can then share updates about the action, plans, how they’re getting there etc. These are then small clusters of people.. Try to build as many of these cluster of friends as possible.

Key Amplifiers

  • Are there any local celebrities or people will large followings that could help spread the word?

  • Create a list of 5-10 people who you would like to reach out to and bring on board.

  • Prepare content that they can share with their network. Often you will have to write tweets or posts for them.

A local union did Instagram posts giving over 30 reasons why people should join -->

← A NYC climate justice group did an art build and invited a celebrity from the Hispanic community.

Integrate with Offline Actions

  • Show all the actions happening in the lead up to the action.
  • Are there art builds, organizing meetings or other offline events planned in the lead up to the action? Make sure there are photos of these events as well.
  • We need people to not just pass out flyers, but we need people to share photos of themselves passing out flyers.

Social media posts from the arts space

Monitor, Curate, Aggregate

  • Make sure you are monitoring social media channels and listening for what people are sharing. (easy on Instagram and Twitter. Harder on Facebook)

  • Reshare other people’s stories. Show how these a huge range of people excited for the action.

Some tools:

  • Tweetdeck
  • Keyhole
  • Tagboard
  • Storify
  • Tint (350 has an account with this. Also allows you to pull onto a website a feed of hashtag content)

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Capacity: There’s only so much you can do. Don’t try and do too much. You can only create so much content, monitor so many hashtags.
  • Get buy in from partners and colleagues early on. Make sure everyone knows they should be helping spread the word.
  • Sharing compelling stories takes a lot of work to build relationships with communities and people. It takes planning and participation. It takes listening and respect.
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative! Think outside of the box. Don’t keep on sharing the same things.
Social Media for Campaigns and Actions - Google Slides