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Deep Dive Breakout 2: Social Media: Content That Recruits

July 21, 2022 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

As social media becomes even more critical to outreach and recruitment, panelists will discuss new opportunities to ensure your messages and calls to action generate attention on today’s competitive social web. They’ll explore the latest trends like micro-video, “edutainment”, remixing, and nano-influencers, as well as making the most of standard posting.

Evelyn Fornes, The Home Depot
Nora Eigenbrodt, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Ashley Smith, The ALS Association
Shana Glickfield, Beekeeper Group


  • Social Big Picture
    • Reach a base of supporters
    • Humanize cause and activities
    • Build brand/mission loyalty
    • Learn what they respond to and value
    • Inspire ambassadors to carry message/CTAs forward
  • Social media challenges
    • Produce content for each target audience
    • Keep audiences engaged and inspired
      • As a brand, you’re competing against every social effort from big brands and current events
    • Ensure diverse, authentic voices are included
      • More pertinent than ever
    • Inspire action among supporters
      • Not just sharing to share
    • Measure what’s working
  • Evelyn from Home Depot
    • Home Depot Twitter has about 6,000 followers, but they’re very targeted. Target audiences include Home Depot employees, elected officials, and press.
  • The Orange Voice Challenge: A campaign to drive associates to engage with the @HomeDepotGR account on Twitter.
  • The process for Orange Voice Challenge advocates:
    • Identify the most followed brand leaders
    • Craft pre-drafted tweets for these leaders
    • Launch #OrangeVoice challenge from the Home Depot GR Twitter account, then generate peer-to-peer engagement.
  • The most difficult part of this campaign was what it mean to use your voice. This was a great opportunity to educate our community on key issues and the PAC.
  • The campaign generated 14 retweets, 31,046 impressions, 11 quote tweets, 365 engagements, 51 likes, 23 profile visits, and 23 hashtag clicks. This tripled their regular engagement flow.

Michael J. Fox

  • Emphasis on smaller platforms and channels with higher engagement, such as Peoplegrove and MJFF Policy FB Group
    • Parkinson’s Buddy Network through PeopleGrove. Users have to create a login, making it a private group for communication between an interest group.
    • There are groups for women with Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s caregivers, etc.
    • The goal is to use the foundation’s clout to connect actual patients and advocates. This is a value add to return to the community.
    • MJFF Policy FB group is the only channel that the policy team owns without any oversight from the marketing/comms team which provides them with a loophole for rapid response and outreach to the community.
  • Focusing on grasstops advocates as social media ambassadors, or “influencers.”
    • This is a new effort for MJFF. There’s a counsel of patients who are active and vocal in the community, often with followings, who could serve as grasstops ambassadors.
    • Microinfluencers often have a small but mighty following on a specific issue and have established trust. They’re also often likely to engage with your issue if they trust the organization.

ALS Association

  • ALS used to have a public policy Twitter, but these issues have been consolidated to the main account. The focus is to make sure the content that gets put out is optimized for social media.
  • Use tools to track conversions. UTM codes can help track the success of social performance as it pertains to advocacy and track the success of recruitment efforts. Almost all social media posts have source codes.
  • Consistency is key. Do a few things and do them well. ALS focuses on Twitter for reaching elected officials, and Facebook for recruiter engagement. Because people with ALS skew older, Facebook is the best way to reach this audience.
  • Stay true to your brand. Over the last three years with new leadership, focusing on urgency and compassion but also centering on people impacted by ALS in all social communication is a priority for the ALS brand. Pairing recruitment posts with images of advocates is effective for this.

Assessing Trends on Emerging Platforms

  • Short form and vertical videos are becoming more popular for policymakers. This includes TikTok, Reels, Etc.
    • The MJFF is experimenting with TikTok and Reels using policy and advocacy as a testing ground. This includes videos of the comms consultants themselves and advocates sharing personal testimonials.
    • While professional quality video is important, authenticity plays well on vertical video. Selfie-style videos are not only easier to create but personable to audiences on these platforms.
    • Another strength of these platforms is auto-captioning. TikTok will caption videos for you, making them accessible to people who are in situations where they can’t turn sound off and alleviate the burden of captioning yourself.
    • A challenge with reels is a lack of ability to link. You can link through the Instagram story as a workaround, though this isn’t effective in the feed.
  • Educational content through an entertaining lens is an emerging strategy.
  • Micro/nano influencers. People with low but devoted followers can make excellent leaders and advocates.
  • After the Capitol insurrection, there was a migration from platforms like Twitter and Facebook to LinkedIn where there are fewer bots and political volatility.


  • Home Depot holds an annual expo in Las Vegas where people can try out new products. It coincides with March Madness.
  • Part of their surround sound advocacy strategy has been to use Quorum to create a leader board on the screen where associates can get things like discounts or perks if they tweet to their elected official.
  • Associates are competitive, so this is extremely effective in recruiting their participation.
  • This effort generated over 3,000 total actions, 3,600 site visits, 2,000 emails, and over 1,000 tweets.

Engaging Target Audience Through Key Influencers

  • Monitoring for ambassadors.
    • Often when you hear about ALS, it’s through high-profile people who have been diagnosed. Reaching out to nano or microinfluencers has helped expand the reach of awareness for ALS outside of these higher profile audiences.
    • Currently, they are running a campaign targeting the FDA where advocates can email the FDA asking them to approve a drug they are reviewing for ALS. This included sharing drafted copy with advocates (often patients and caretakers) for them to amplify to their personal networks.
    • An important component is a deep relationship between government relations and communications teams.
  • Building relationships to engage during key moments.
    • It’s important to foster influencer relationships outside of moments of activation. This way, your community will be there when you need them.


  • 72% of Washington Insiders make it the most used platform within their demographic.
  • Targeting by job title of the industry makes it a great way to reach target audiences that you can’t on other platforms.
  • LinkedIn is often considered the most trusted platform.


  • Home Depot was picked up by WSJ after they donated plexiglass to voter locations. This generated a massive amplification for Home Depot on social.

Measuring Engagement With Policymakers

  • Tracking through hashtags and account tags is accessible even without native login access.
  • Building on relationships through Twitter. ALS will often send pre-drafted content to advocates to increase their likelihood of participation and ensure aligned messaging.
  • Amplifying advocacy activity. Whenever ALS meets with a member, they make sure to tweet thanking them for their time and include images where possible. ALS also tells advocates that they will amplify their posts, which incentivizes them to participate.

Social Gardening

  • Working with marketing/communications to build relationships with legislators through low-stakes touchpoints can lead to better collaboration.
  • Encouraging advocates to replicate these touchpoints furthers the ladder of engagement and creates a larger impact.
  • Some social best practices may not pertain to advocacy content. For advocacy, linking out may not be the main goal as it would be for marketing. When advocates reach out to members, this has value outside of link clicks.


  • Was the Orange Voice challenge peer to peer?
    • Senior leaders were asked to participate. Had this run for a longer period of time, it may have grown in reach more. Having the VP start and tag five people got the ball rolling from the top down. There was also a preplanned list of who would start the challenge.


July 21, 2022
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:
http://www.buzzadvocacy.org/Social Media-Content-That-Recruits
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