If you’re not already using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, now is a great time to start. These online communities are great places to share ideas, meet like-minded people, connect with friends, family, and co-workers, and be an advocate for sensible health care reform.
Don’t worry if you’re new to social media—it’s easy to use and you learn as you go. Here are a few general tips and guidelines…
- Jump In—Most social media sites just require you to provide your name and email, and set up a password. Social media sites don’t spam you, and you control your email notifications and privacy settings.
- Explore—When you’re new to a particular network, go to the “About” or “Help” page, and read about basics of the site and how to use it. Then use search features to find friends and groups. You can find the Health Action Network on Twitter and Facebook.
- Be Polite and Engaging—Social media sites depend on everyone’s participation. Reach out to follow and friend people, share your opinions, and be respectful of others.
- Privacy and Safety—Social media sites are safe, as long as you exercise common sense, and they allow you to decide how you share information. At the same time, do not share personal info with everyone on the Internet and be wary of offers that are too good to be true (such as a free laptop giveaway), because they usually are.
Below are some ways to use the most popular social sites to help spread the word about the Health Action Network and our effort to support market-based solutions that offer better health care choices and help build a stronger economy.
Engaging on Facebook
Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with more than 900 million members. Once you set up your account, there are several actions you can take to highlight your concerns about health care reform, including:
- “Like” the Health Action Network—We’re on Facebook and when you “like” us, our news and advocacy posts will appear in your news feed.
- Like and Share Posts—Click “Like” or “Share” to highlight posts that you think are interesting and important—from the Health Action Network and others.
- Invite Friends to “Like” the Health Action Network—We’re building our Network to raise awareness about the need to fix health care reform.
- Post on Your Wall—Share your concerns about health care reform by posting on your own Facebook Wall (or Timeline). You can also share content from the Health Action Network website by clicking any of the “Share This” buttons you’ll find throughout the site.
- Engage with Government Officials and Campaigns—Many officials, government agencies, and campaigns have their own Facebook pages. You can often weigh in directly on their pages—Facebook is a social network, after all.
Twitter is the world’s leading “microblogging” social network site. Users write and post short 140-character (or shorter) “tweets” that might share an idea, offer a link to an interesting article, report on an event, retweet or reply to someone else’s tweet, and more. Here are some ideas for using Twitter as an advocate of sensible health care reform:
- “Follow” Other Advocates and Issue Experts—You can start by following the Health Action Network. You might also follow reporters, elected officials, and others. When you follow some people, they may follow you back.
- Share Health Action Network Content—On the Health Action Network website, you can find lots of information that you can share out in 140 characters or less. Simply click on the “Share This” link next to any content that interests you.
- Broadcast Ready-Made Tweets—On news sites, blogs, and other places such as the Health Action Network website, you’ll see a little bird icon. If you’re signed in to Twitter, you just click the icon and a tweet about the page is ready for you to post.
- Use Hashtags—Twitter is full of words that begin with #. These are hashtags that group together tweets on a similar topic, such as #ACA. When you use these hashtags, other Twitter users searching for conversations on those topics will see your posts.
- Use Twitter Tools and Apps—A lot of people use Twitter on the go. Download a Twitter app for your smart phone, tablet, or laptop so you can tweet anytime.
Be a Star on YouTube
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Today, this could be said of video—and the place to share, view, and comment on videos is YouTube. Here are a few ideas for sharing your views about health care reform on YouTube:
- Share Your Story—Today’s smart phones, laptops, and tablets often have built-in video cameras and software. Shoot a short video talking about your views on health care and upload it to YouTube.
- Comment on Other Videos—Search for other YouTube videos about health care reform and share your responses.
- Promote Videos— Promote your and others’ videos on other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter—as well as with the Health Action Network community.
Other ways to Participate