housing action
Missed Connections from Social Media 201 Webinar


Joaquin Uy, Communications Specialist

Today was the first pre-Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day webinar and unfortunately, I was unable to join as a presenter. Erin and Denise from Firesteel both did a great job. They were under tremendous stress, given the terrible #Google+FAIL. Rest assured, for the rest of this year, the Housing Alliance will be primarily utilizing social media technologies that have a proven track record and higher utilization, namely Twitter, Facebook, heck maybe even Instagram!
This email is to summarize some main points that Erin missed in covering my part of the webinar on the fly.
1. Using Hashtags on Facebook
I want to recognize that a lot of organizations and individuals haven't jumped on the Twitter wagon, and that is ok. You can still help us advocate for our issues and you can still participate in the Social Media Day of Action, by posting on Facebook. Yes, you can use hashtags on Facebook. However, Facebook is a closed network with longer limits on how many words you can use to communicate information. Hence, there is less of a need to use hashtagged words.
Twitter is so stream-of-consciousness, random and not so random thoughts spewing forth from the chaotic hivemind of homo sapiens. Of course you need hashtags! It's a huge information overload. We have to find some way of wading through the muck to find information! Hence, if you want the latest info and to communicate more freely and more publicly, get onto Twitter and hashtag those tweets! If you're going to stay on Facebook, then hashtags...meh. Don't worry about it!
2. Regarding this Slide:
I just wanted to show that the Housing Alliance's consistent and intentional use of Twitter has resulted in us getting covered by media. We were tweeting quite a bit last year about sequestration's effects on affordable housing and homelessness in Washington State. A writer from ThingProgress contacted us and wrote not one but two articles quoting us!
Now, you may not really want media attention. But it goes to show that people can and will pay attention. careful out there!
3. Levity and Social Media
Of course, your posts should have a sense of humor. Look at the success of The Daily Show and Grist in not only entertaining, but also educating. But, and this may be the hardest thing to do, use common sense! Here are the rules I use when thinking about humor and social media:
I. Be appropriate.
II. Know you audience.
III. If you have any second thoughts about the post, then don't post it!
I have some success with animal memes. Almost always a crowd-pleaser.
4. Regarding this Slide:
If you can't make it to Advocacy Day, that is ok. But we really want folks to be calling their legislators on that day and telling them that they support the Housing Alliance priorities for creating affordable homes and ending homelessness. After you do that, then, you should try to find your elected officials on Facebook and Twitter and tell them there too. Then after that, on Twitter, retweet and favorite #HHAD2014 content from the Housing Alliance. Then after that, go to Facebook and repost and comment and like our content there. Got it?
5. Social Media for Food and Advocacy
My main point here is that social media is for everything! And when I mean everything, I mean everything! Use it to take pictures of food, to share cute photos of your pets, and even to take selfies. That's what attracts a lot of our friends and acquaintances. But also use it for advocacy, for political outrage, for the social causes you care about.
Social media is not meant to supplant your live in-person relationships. It is here to enhance them. I know my day is better when a friend shares with me a funny photo of their kids. And my day is even better when a friend shares with me the latest updates about an issue I care about, like affordable housing and homelessness. So, bring your whole selves (but maybe not everything, a la recent political scandals with a certain NYC politician).
6. Social Media Day of Action Hashtag
The Social Media Day of Action does not have a hashtag. The day is meant for social media outreach around #HHAD2014. So you can just use that and any of our other hastags for our legislative priorities. We are asking folks to change their avatar for that day. You can find that and all other info here:
Let me know if you have any further questions from me and feel free to pass it along via social media.




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