Using Social Media to Advance Advocacy Efforts

By: Christina Koch, Manager of Professional Relations, NASP

Social media can be a very powerful tool for advocacy, but it is sometimes underutilized. State associations as well as individual school psychologists can further their cause by having a prominent advocacy-related social media presence. Despite any hesitation you may have regarding social media and its benefits, there are thousands of individuals and organizations that are already using social media to their advantage. The truth is, advocacy is a huge part of the work that school psychologists and state associations do. So many have already caught on to the powers of social media, not using it can leave you out of important conversations and behind on innovative ideas. Not to mention that sticking to traditional advocacy platforms limits the potential audience that can be reached. With social media, you can connect with colleagues, organizations, and policy makers across the nation and even around the world. If done correctly, social media can transform your advocacy efforts into something greater and make your voice heard to a wider audience in a global setting.

For those that have typically shied away from social media, or for those that are currently using it but need more advanced tips, NASP has put together a guide to help with the advocacy efforts of state associations as well as individual school psychologists. In it we explain the ins and outs of using Facebook and Twitter, and their similarities and differences; how a state school psychology association can utilize social media appropriately and effectively; and how individuals can advocate on their own and contribute to their state association's advocacy efforts.

Like any other advocacy initiative, your activity on social media should be purposeful.The first section of the guide urges state associations to determine their audience, goals, objectives, and "calls to action" when using their Facebook page. These simple steps can have great payoffs in terms of effectively reaching your audience. Even for those who are intimidated by social media, sitting down and thinking about who your audience is, what your goal is, how you are going to accomplish it, and how you are going to get others to take action will help keep the process purposeful, organized, and therefore effective. This guide will walk you through everything from signing up and creating a Facebook or Twitter page, to which days of the week and times of day are best for increasing engagement. We hope that this becomes a helpful tool for school psychologists and that those who find social media intimidating will be encouraged to take the plunge and begin advocating online!

View NASP's Advocacy Social Media Guide here!