Use your social media skills to advocate for affordable housing and an end to homelessness on the third annual Social Media Day of Action, this Friday, Jan. 22.
Advocates around the state will flock to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms that day to build an online movement as we lead up to Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day (HHAD) in Olympia, Tuesday, Feb. 2. HHAD is hosted by our partner, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.
More importantly, we want to keep the momentum going, so that our voices are heard all year long and lawmakers understand that there is huge public will for policy change.
Why We Do It
Our goals are to:
- Increase registration for HHAD. Two years ago, Social Media Day of Action increased registrations for HHAD 50 percent. We can do it again!
- Demand action for the Housing Alliance’s legislative agenda items like the Housing Trust Fund, Source of Income Discrimination, Fair Tenant Screening Act and more.
- Share clear, consistent messaging (see below).
- Connect with advocates around the state who are doing the same kind of work. We are stronger when we advocate together!
How To Do It
It’s easy – and fun – to participate. Here are a few ways you can be part of the action.
- Change your photo – your Facebook profile photo and Twitter avatar — to the Social Media Day of Action icon above. Just click on the image and save it to a folder, then post on social media.
- Post something on your social media accounts – an image, video, link to TV story and more. Create your own image, or share content from partners. See below for some suggestions.
- Add a key message. (See below.)
- Add hashtags. Be sure to use the hashtag #HHAD2016 and the new #WAhomes hashtag, as well as #WAleg for the Washington legislature. These not only concisely express a message, but they also help people search for your posts.
- Invite your friends, family and colleagues to join in. Ask them to “like” and “follow” pages such as:
- Repeat. The Day of Action lasts all day – from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. For Twitter, post once per hour. For Facebook, post a few times during the day. We don’t recommend flooding your feed with too many #HHAD2016 posts; Facebook users aren’t accustomed to a surge of posts, like Twitter users are.
All the Social Media Day of Action content should focus on key messages like these:
- Register for Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day, Feb. 2 http://bit.ly/HHADreg2016 #HHAD2016 #WAhomes
- All Washington residents deserve the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home in thriving communities.
Legislative Agenda Item Messaging:
- Eliminate barriers to housing and improve protections for tenants.
- Increase wages so that all working people can afford a safe and healthy home.
- Increase revenue sources for the state budget and protect the social safety net.
10 Kinds of Content To Share
Now that we’ve done the Day of Action for a few years, we know what kind of content gets shared the most. Here are some recommendations for what kinds of posts to try. Change it up throughout the day. Look at what others are sharing, and join in. Be sure to interact with others; don’t just post-and-run.
- “Unselfies.” A selfie is type of self-portrait photograph usually taken with a camera phone and then posted to a social media site, often accompanied with the hashtag #selfie. An unselfie encourages people to take a self-portrait and tie it to a social issue or cause. It’s easy. First, write clearly how you’ll be participating in Advocacy Day; maybe you’re volunteering or will meet with your legislator. Feel free to list more than one. Then, hold the piece of paper in front of you, showing your personal pledge, and take a picture. Add the hashtags #HHAD2016, #WAhomes and #unselfie to the post.
- Cute animal photos. Just like any other social media content – but with extra meaning.
- Memes. These are images, videos, quotes and other pop-culture content made for sharing. Make your own at Imgur or Quickmeme. Or just pop an image into Powerpoint and snip it, creating a jpeg you can share. Note: You can also listen to our “Spark Change” podcast on creating images quickly, or read the post about it. There, you’ll also see our “Office Space” meme, a perennial favorite.
- Videos. Here’s one that we created specifically for this legislative session, to support our advocacy against Source of Income Discrimination, featuring advocate Naomi talking about how hard it was for her to find housing even though she had a housing voucher. This video has been shared dozens of times by our partners.
- Images related to agenda items. Here’s one that McKenna Haley of Seattle U created to support the Fair Tenant Screening Act. You can add your own advocacy message at the bottom.
- Infographics. These are great for visualizing data quickly. Here’s one from Columbia Legal Services and Seattle U about the number of homeless students in the state. This can be used to support items like the Homeless Student Stability & Opportunity Gap Act (HB 1682/SB 6298).
- News Coverage. There’s been so much lately! You can share this Seattle Times series on youth homelessness, “Young and Homeless”; the Seattle Met feature on homelessness in the region; blog posts; and much more.
- Quotes. Take a memorable quote and turn it into a strong visual. Or, share images that already exist, like these.
- Statistics. Share statistics about affordable housing and homeless in your community on your tweets and posts with the hashtag #HHAD2016 and #WAhomes. Here are some great sources for statistics:
- Your personal thoughts and experiences. Your point of view means a lot to your followers and friends. Whatever you share, make sure you express your opinion and tell people what you want them to do.
About Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day
An Advocacy Day (a.k.a. “Lobby Day”) is an organized event, usually at the legislature, where constituents can meet their elected officials to inform on and advocate for specific legislation and policies. Each year, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance organizes one of the largest Advocacy Days during the legislative session. Over 650 advocates from every county in the state gather to urge their legislators to support policy ensuring that everyone in Washington has the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, and affordable home. Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day is Tuesday, Feb. 2. Find more information, including registration and pre-Advocacy Day workshops, here.
Read more about our legislative agenda items here on the Firesteel website.