Each social media platform serves a different purpose. Social media play an important role in the mobilisation of activists. This page explains how they can be used as tools for your activist organisation, taking into account downsides such as censorship.
Social media platforms #
While most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are owned by big tech, they are still a useful tool in growing your movement. In our guides we explain how to set up your socials to mobilise and engage people for your cause, while being critical of so called ‘clicktivism’.
We talk about how to use these platforms effectively for outreach and promotion of protest actions. In addition, we give practical advise on how to work around censorship and shadow bans.
Social media management tools #
With users spread out over so many different platforms, it can be hard to create good content for all, especially for small to medium sized movements. Social media management tools can help you work more efficiently:
Facebook Business Suite: A free tool developed to manage your Facebook and Instagram profiles in one dashboard.
Local context #
Activists who use social media to promote their causes need to be aware of the local context across countries, as it can impact their effectiveness and safety. For example, some countries may have different laws, norms, or censorship policies that affect how activists can communicate online.
Some countries may also have different levels of internet access, digital literacy, or media freedom that influence how activists can reach and mobilize their audiences. Therefore, activists should tailor their social media strategies to the specific context of each country they operate in, and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances.
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How to use social media for activism
How to protect yourself against the toxic aspects of social media platforms? They're useful tools, but they can also do harm. Some ideas to discuss:
Discuss the harmful effects (designed to be addictive, censorship, harassment, privacy)
Discuss possible solutions (eg. social media detox?)
How to create impactful personal social media accounts? Some ideas:
Try to build meaningful relationships with your followers, by being authentic (honest, open). Having a core group of followers will increase quality engagement (going beyond just a large number of likes, but actually getting out something valuable - insightful conversations, resources, network, etc.)
Bring personal relationships outside the spheres of social media platforms: not only will this strengthen your relationships, it will also make you less dependent on big tech to define who you get to connect with.
How can activists use social media to reach more people with our message?
How can activists use social media to build relationships and engage people in our cause?
How can activists protect the privacy of our activists and supporters online?
What impact does social media have on activist movements?
How does social media use affect mental health of activists?
What are the risks and benefits of using social media for social activism?
What are the best strategies for using social media to promote social change?
How can we make sure our content is seen by people on social media?
How do social media algorithms impact the reach of our content?
What are the potential negative implications of using social media for social activism?
Related articles #
Free photos, illustrations & videos for activists: If you are looking for free images to use on your socials, check our these free libraries with pictures of protests and more.
Newsletters: If you would like to send out a regular newsletter to your members, check out our guide that compares email broadcasting tools.
Using Facebook Groups for organizing by Blueprints for Change
Social media for change by The Good Lobby
Activism on Social Media by Tactical Tech
Social Media Activism: A guide to online change making by Jessie Mawson