Interact with Members of Congress on Social Media

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Description
This training walks you through how to like, retweet, or comment on your members of Congress’s social media posts.
Breadcrumb
/topics/social-media-lobbying
TOC and Guide Section
 
Which platform should I use for lobbying?

When you want to use social media to support your lobbying efforts, CCL recommends using Twitter. Twitter is the most effective and appropriate platform for interacting with your member of Congress because MOCs are more active and present on this platform than others. 

As of 2018, 100% of Senators were on Twitter, and 99% of representatives in the House were too. That’s a little higher than Congress’s usage of Facebook, which is 95% and 97% respectively, and vastly more than Instagram, which had 70% and 50% respectively. 

Twitter also makes it particularly easy to interact with people even if they’re high profile or you don’t know them personally, which is usually the case with your member of Congress.

How to interact with your MOC

On Twitter, the main ways to interact with your member of Congress’ posts are to:

  • Like their tweets
  • Retweet their tweets, or you can quote tweet them
  • Reply to their tweets

You can also create your own posts and tag them. If you’re looking for guidance about creating your own posts, check out this training instead.

Like your MOC’s tweet

The simplest way you can interact with a member of Congress on Twitter is to like their tweets, particularly those about climate and environmental issues. You like a tweet by clicking the heart button near the bottom. 

This is a super easy, one-second action you can take to show support for what they’ve said. When you like your member’s tweet, they will get a notification that you liked it. Your likes should help incentivize them to talk more about climate, post more about it, and ultimately encourage them to act more on it because they see that it’s beneficial to them.

Retweet your MOC’s tweet

The next easiest thing to do is retweet the tweet, which will show the member’s tweet to your own followers exactly as it appears. To retweet something, you can simply click the retweet icon (the one with arrows) at the bottom of the tweet. When you retweet a post from your member of Congress, they will get a notification that you retweeted their post.

This is an easy action you can take, but it’s a little bit higher value than a like, because it actually shows the tweet to more people. Your member of Congress’s office will appreciate if you’re retweeting and therefore amplifying their posts about climate or environmental issues. Your retweets are another way to incentivize them to talk more about climate and take action. 

Quote tweet your MOC

You’ll see when you click the retweet button that you actually have two options. You can retweet the post as-is, or you can “retweet with comment.” This is also sometimes called a “quote tweet.” If you choose that option, you’ll still be sharing the tweet to your followers, but it also gives you an “Add a comment” spot to say something of your own about the topic too.

You might use this option if you’d like to add something new to the public conversation. For example, if a member of Congress tweeted about wildfires but didn’t mention climate change, you could retweet and add your own thoughts, like, “Wildfires are getting worse due to climate change. It’s time to put a price on pollution to reduce our emissions and address the problem,” or something like that. Your member of Congress will get a notification about whatever you put in your quote tweet, so remember to be respectful, appreciative, and positive.

One thing to note: A regular retweet adds to the retweet number showing up on the original post. A quote tweet does not add to that number. So if your goal is to boost a member’s tweet, you’re probably better off with a straight retweet.

Reply to your MOC’s tweet

You can leave a reply by clicking on the little speech bubble at the bottom of someone’s tweet. 

When you reply to a member of Congress’s tweet, remember that this is really no different than calling their office, or meeting with them or their staff, so be respectful. Be appreciative. Remember CCL’s values. We recommend that you stay focused: reply to tweets that are climate-related, or about environmental topics, or even about bipartisanship, but don’t wade into other political discussions in the same tweet. And try to stay positive! Mostly focus on leaving replies that are supportive and encouraging when a member of Congress takes a step (or a tweet) in the right direction on climate or bipartisanship. 

How to interact with MOCs on Facebook and Instagram

The types of interactions we’ve talked about here mostly hold true for Facebook and Instagram too. 

On Facebook, you can like or “love” an MOC’s posts about climate, leave supportive comments, or share what they’ve posted with your own friends. If you have your constituent badge turned on, then your supportive comments will go even further, because they’ll see that you’re a constituent.

On Instagram, you can like an MOC’s posts, react positively to stories they may post on these issues, comment, or share relevant content of theirs on your own stories or with a third party reposting app. 

What if my MOC isn’t posting about climate?

If your member of Congress is not posting anything about climate or environmental issues, and you’re not seeing any opportunities to interact with them in a CCL way about CCL topics, that’s okay! No need to force it. You can simply keep an eye on their posts to understand what their priorities and values are, which can inform your lobby meetings and other outreach to them. Plus, you can focus more on creating your own posts that you want them to see. Learn more about creating your own posts in this training. 

Interact with CCL, too

While you’re thinking about interacting with your members of Congress on these platforms, don’t forget that you can also interact with CCL on all of those platforms, too. So, thanks in advance for liking, commenting on, and sharing our posts as well!

More support

Click the “Watch” tab on this training page for a visual walk-through of everything described here.

For more support, head to CCL’s Social Media Action Team. This is a private Facebook group, which you can request to join. Once you’ve joined, you can post questions and get support for any social media activity relating to CCL. 

You can also email Flannery Winchester, CCL’s Communications Director, at flannery@citizensclimate.org.
 

Length
Press play to start the video (8m 04s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Which platform should I use for lobbying?
(from beginning)

How to like and retweet your MOC
(1:13)

Reply to your MOC’s tweet
(4:40)

How to interact with MOCs on Facebook and Instagram
(6:18)

What if my MOC isn’t posting about climate?
(7:08)
Instructor(s)
  • Flannery Winchester
Downloads

View or Download the Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Go Deeper

Questions about using social media to support your lobbying efforts? Ask them in the Social Media Action Team or in the Lobbying Congress forum discussions.

To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Lobbying Congress
Format
Audio / Video