Most Pennsylvania state legislators have official Facebook pages where news about bills, district news and events etc. are posted and many of them also have their own Facebook pages you can friend that are a little less formal. Although a visit, call or e-mail still makes the most impact, Facebook pages are being used more and more by constituents as a way to communicate with their legislators. Following are some helpful tips on best ways to utilize Facebook lobbying!
- Share and post: Humane PA publishes Facebook posts that you can easily share to your own page, as well as to your own legislators page. It is always helpful when sharing to let your legislators know that you are a constituent. Sharing and liking Humane PA posts keeps them in the newsfeed and increases the likelihood that a legislator will see the post.
- Use available articles, blogs or interesting facts that you can share. Editorials from newspapers in the district about pending legislation can help emphasize your point. Humane PA posts fact sheets on pending legislation on its web-site as well as share-worthy legislative updates on its Facebook page.
- Represent the animal vote well. Don’t’ spam your legislators pages, argue with their other constituents endlessly, dominate all their topics with animal bills and DON’T write ALL IN CAPS TO MAKE YOUR POINT – the legislators don’t take it seriously and it won’t convince them to vote for your bill, in fact it may work in reverse. Remember, expressing yourself may feel good to you, but it doesn’t always help the animals. Look for opportunities to comment – if animal issues come up. Pasting photos of suffering animals to their pages is not helpful.
- Keep updated the status of animal bills –to know when it is most effective to post. Our page will keep you updated when bills are introduced, moving, have committee hearings and need action. Spamming the pages 7 days a week about bills is not effective. Post a polite request on your legislators page that says something like “I am a constituent of yours and would like you to support Bill X.
- Maintain a positive relationship. Threats and hostile remarks are not productive and it can backfire if others on their page become hostile too. Screechy, preachy posts are not convincing. If a legislator takes action to help animals – say thank you and don’t use it as an opportunity to tell them everything that the bill doesn’t do. Speak to your legislators the way you would like someone to talk to you. The animals depend on you to be their voice – so make it an effective one.
- Say thank you. Everyone appreciates being thanked – you can thank them for introducing bills, co-sponsoring, and voting in favor of humane bills. Many legislators have started posting about their own animals and shelters in their district as well as sharing Humane PA posts. Thank them!
- Join groups and online chat boards in your community and be an active member. Chat about issues that are important to the community. – networking with others is helpful and you may have opportunities to post for help with animal bills. Share Humane PA posts and web-links as conversation starters.
- Invite your legislators to join the Humane PA page. It allows them to learn about various bills as well as get to know the animal vote and see us an engaged community that cares.
- Always share Humane PA posts, alerts and encourage all your friends to get involved and make their calls too!
- When a legislator passes a bill, posts proudly about an action they have taken for animals, thank them, praise them and let them know their efforts are appreciated. We need them!
More information on using social media to help animals.