Twitter may seem like a social network for the young kids, something that older human rights activists don’t participate in because there aren’t any older folks using Twitter. However, that’s a misconception, as the 55-64 age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter. That’s right, older folks are using Twitter, and you need to build their awareness about human rights issues. Hopefully, they’ll care and follow the trends the way you have, or at least spread the word and get others to care. Here’s how to use Twitter to promote human rights, no matter your age.
Completely Fill In Your Profile
There are two reasons that you want to fill in your profile completely. First, a full profile looks good. It looks like whoever is running that account is taking care of that account. It looks like whoever is tweeting cares about the things they tweet and those who follow the account. Second, a full profile is less likely to get flagged as span and to be seen as illegitimate. You take human rights seriously, but that’s not going to show on Twitter unless you take the social network seriously too. That means filling the profile and paying attention when people retweet your updates, follow you, and send you a direct message.
The following aspects of your Twitter profile should be filled in:
- Biography – Something short, but descriptive. Doesn’t need to be too fancy.
- Cover Photo – Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t provide a few generic cover photos for you to use, so you do have to find one on your own. Yes, you need to have one. You also need to keep in mind the color of the text so that all of it is readable with the cover photo in the background. The plain black is boring and isn’t representative of human rights.
- Background Photo – One of the generic ones Twitter has will suffice, but if you can create a customized background, that’s a lot better.
- Link – Hopefully, your chapter has its own website that can be placed here. If you do have your own webpage, then it’s best to take this one step further and to create a Twitter landing page. A Twitter landing page is a specific page for people who find your Twitter account, and choose to visit your webpage through Twitter. The landing page provides additional information about your chapter, as well as your chapter’s policies on tweeting and following others.
Remember the 50/50 Rule
The 50/50 rule states that 50% of what you share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, or any other platform), should be your own content. The other 50% should be other people’s content. Yes, half of what you share on social media should be someone else’s article, tweet, picture, website etc. Twitter is not another bullhorn to use just to push your human rights messaging. You need to also interact with others, share the great things that they are doing, and not hog the spotlight.
For some chapters, the tough part might be fulfilling the ‘own content’ instead of the ‘other’s content’. To share your own content, there are a number of things you could do:
- Start Blogging – Once you write a blog post, share it on Twitter and share it multiple times throughout the day or week. You want to do this multiple times because if you only do it once, then not everyone will see it the one time you share it. The more times you share it (given that it’s space out over the course of a day, week, or month), then the more people that will see it.
- Find Facts, Figures & Demographics – Use Twitter to inform people about human rights by tweeting facts, figures, and demographics. If you can cite the source within your tweet, even if it’s just by adding their twitter handle (@humanrights as an example), then that’s even better. This gives people something to retweet and a good reason to follow you, as you inform them and provide insight into human rights issues and abuses.
- Start Conversations – It’s okay to tweet during the meeting, or to ask questions about human rights, or to provide comment on current news and issues. Everything you tweet doesn’t have to be a link. Simply sharing thoughts or encouraging others to share thoughts is great also.