Social Media for CCL Volunteers

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Description
By effectively using social media’s influence we can build political will for climate action and give real time immediate feedback across all five levers. This training walks through how to use social media to promote CCL, engage Congress, the media, grassroots and grasstops communities, and recruit new volunteers.  

This training is also part of the Core Volunteer Training series.
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TOC and Guide Section
 
CCL’s national social media profiles

Citizens’ Climate Lobby itself has a social media account on each major platform: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those accounts represent the national organization, and we have tens of thousands of followers. These accounts help more people all over the world understand who we are, how we work, and what we value.

These accounts also give volunteers like you an easy way to stay up to date and connected with CCL. It’s a quick, regular way for you to keep in touch with us, and we’re frequently posting lightweight, interesting content you can share with your friends and followers.

Your first social media actions

The most basic things we encourage all individual volunteers to do are these:

  • Follow CCL’s national accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) on all of the platforms you use. 
  • Like, comment on, and share posts that are interesting to you. 
  • Make at least one initial post about CCL. Tell your friends and followers why you joined, or what you’re working on with CCL right now.
Hashtags for CCL work

There are three that relate directly to CCL’s work: #GrassrootsClimate, #BipartisanClimate, and #PriceOnPollution. 

  • Add #GrassrootsClimate to your social media posts that show you taking some sort of grassroots action: attending a meeting, writing a letter, tabling, giving a presentation, etc. These posts with this tag reinforce the message that regular people all across America care about climate change. 
  • Add #BipartisanClimate to your posts that relate to bipartisanship, parties working together, people talking across the aisle, or even specifically Republicans or conservatives speaking up and taking action. 
  • Add #PriceOnPollution to your posts that talk about carbon pricing and specifically the Energy Innovation Act. 

Don’t feel pressure to use all three hashtags in all your posts all the time. In fact, that could be counterproductive, because it will dilute the impact of each individual hashtag. When you’re creating a post, just take a moment to think about if what you’re posting relates to any of the themes I’ve described here. If so, use the appropriate hashtag.

Social media supports each lever of political will

If you’ve been through CCL’s introductory trainings, you’ll know that we use five levers of political will to move Congress forward: lobbying, media, grassroots outreach, grasstops engagement, and chapter development. Social media is a tool to support those levers. In the same way that you may send emails or make phone calls during your work on any of these levers, you can use social media for most of them too.

Different social media platforms are appropriate for activating different levers. 

  • Twitter is best for the levers of lobbying, grasstops engagement and media
  • Facebook is best for grassroots outreach and chapter development
  • Instagram is best for grassroots outreach and grasstops engagement

Consider what levers you’d like to pull with your social media use, or what your favorite platform is best for, to inform what actions you take. Here’s a high-level look at how you might use social media to support your work in each lever:

Social media for lobbying
  • Find and follow your representative and senators on the platforms you use. MOCs are most active on Twitter. 
  • Interact with your MOCs by leaving positive comments on their posts, encouraging them when they speak up about climate
  • Post your own content and tag your MOCs: photos of chapter activities, relevant LTEs & news articles, etc. Use #GrassrootsClimate

To go deeper into our social media suggestions for lobbying, visit the Social Media for Lobbying page (coming soon).

Social media for media relations
  • Post about your media success, like published LTEs, op-eds, editorial endorsements, or articles that feature CCL
  • Follow and interact with your local media outlets & journalists
  • Pitch ideas for stories to your local media outlets & journalists

To go deeper into our social media suggestions for media relations, visit the Social Media for Media Relations page (coming soon).

Social media for grasstops engagement
  • Identify local influencers and follow them on the platforms they use (probably  Twitter or Instagram)  
  • Follow and interact with them. Respond to what they are posting & talking about. 
  • Post information that’s relevant to them and tag them: upcoming local events, news about other local grasstops climate supporters, etc.

To go deeper into our social media suggestions for grasstops engagement, visit the Social Media for Grasstops Engagement page (coming soon).

Social media for grassroots outreach
  • Host Facebook Events when having grassroots outreach activities
  • Post photos that show your group’s activities and can attract new members: tabling, lobby meetings, etc. Use #GrassrootsClimate 
  • Share interesting content from CCL’s national FB page to start conversations with your friends and followers

To go deeper into our social media suggestions for grasstops engagement, visit the Social Media for Grassroots Outreach page (coming soon).

Social media for chapter development

Chapter development includes getting folks to meetings, assigning roles within the chapter, and doing additional training. Primarily, we recommend that you use CCL Community for Chapter Development activities. 

Some chapters may already be using Facebook Groups to organize these activities. If that’s the case, continue to do what works best for your chapter. 

If you only use one social platform...

You may only use one social media platform. If that’s the case, here are the basics of what we recommend you do on each platform. 

Twitter actions

  • Post photos of group meetings & outreach events. Use #GrassrootsClimate
  • Share links to LTEs & other media
  • Follow & interact with your MOCs & with CCL

If you need detailed training about how to use Twitter, visit the Using Twitter page.

Facebook actions

  • Share content from CCL’s national page
  • Host a FB event as a way to spread the word about your local events & find others  
  • Activate the “Town Hall” feature and interact with your MOCs 

If you need detailed training about how to use Facebook, visit the Using Facebook page (coming soon).

Instagram actions

  • Post photos and stories from your local events & your CCL activities. Use #GrassrootsClimate
  • Interact with influencers and other pages you follow to spread the word about CCL

If you need detailed training about how to use Facebook, visit the Using Instagram page (coming soon).

Coordinate with your chapter

You can take any of these social media actions as an individual, but you may also want to coordinate with your chapter. 

We recommend you could appoint at least one person in your chapter to make sure your chapter’s activities are being posted about on social media. That person can make those posts from a chapter social media account, if your chapter has one, or from a personal account.

Tone and values

Just as we do in CCL lobby meetings, it’s important to bring respect, appreciation, and gratitude into your social media interactions on behalf of CCL. This is especially true if you’re interacting with your member of Congress. Please do NOT insult, pester, or shame your member of Congress. Also be careful with sarcasm and humor, which don’t always come across clearly online. Keep your tone straightforward and convey those core values of respect, appreciation, and gratitude. 

These guidelines are also true as you engage with others on social media. You may encounter someone who does not support carbon pricing, does not like the idea of bipartisanship, or simply disagrees with you in some other way. If you’re unable to engage with that person in a respectful way, the best thing to do is simply to log off.

Social Media Action Team

So to help you be successful with your social media activities, CCL has a Social Media Action Team. As part of this team, you can: 

  • Help with strategic efforts, such as publicizing important news, leaving positive comments for members of Congress who are posting about climate change, etc.
  • Get reminders and ideas about what you and your chapter can be posting.
  • Ask questions about social media to other team members and to CCL staff. Ashley Hunt-Martorano, CCL’s Marketing and Events Coordinator, and Flannery Winchester, CCL’s Communications Coordinator, help run the group. 

This action team is run as a Facebook group. You can find it by searching for “CCL Social Media Action Team” on Facebook, or by going to cclusa.org/CCLSocial, and requesting to join. Be sure to answer the membership questions so we know you’re an active CCL volunteer. 

Length
Press play to start the video (17m 21s)
https://vimeo.com/album/5499679
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro and Agenda
(from beginning)

Individual Volunteers
(1:16)

Social Media Across Five Levers
(3:21)

Volunteer Actions
(11:28)

Social Media Action Team
(15:19)

Instructor(s)
  • Flannery Winchester
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Category
Training
Topics
Media Relations
Format
Audio / Video
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources