Social Media 101
For Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) Chapters
How can Social Media help my SALDF Chapter?
Social media is a great tool for keeping your chapter members up-to-date on events and news in the animal legal world. Here are our tips for using social media as a communications tool:
- Share your social media links with chapter members and encourage their participation.
- Use the accounts to spread the word about chapter events and encourage others to share to help raise awareness about SALDF on campus.
- Social media is a great place to share news and information about animals and the law. You can share posts from the Animal Legal Defense Fund about recent cases, re-tweet news stories and share links to interesting news articles.
- Social media can be a great recruitment tool and help educate students about the chapter and how they can get involved.
- Your chapter’s social media profiles are also a great way to capture your events for the year, so future boards and interested students can see the SALDF chapter’s history.
- Tweet: A 140-character or less message posted on Twitter.
- Retweet: Sharing another user’s post.
- Hashtag: Begins with “#” and is used to track conversations and topics.
- Direct Message: Private message sent to a specific user.
- Mentions and replies are updates that contain “@username” anywhere in the body of the tweet. Place a “@” in front of the person, business, organization or whatever you want to mention or reply to. A recent change has made it so that your replies to someone will be seen only by mutual followers if you place their “@username” at the beginning of your tweet. If you want your followers to see your mentions/replies to someone, set the “@username” at the end of the tweet or put a period in front of the ampersand like this: “.@”.
- Feed: The stream that displays on your Twitter homepage.
How to Set up an Account
When setting up a Twitter account on behalf of your SALDF chapter, it is important to keep in mind the longevity of the account. Once you’ve moved on and graduated, you’ll want to pass the login and password on, so we suggest creating a google account, or linking it to your chapter’s general email address (if you have one), in lieu of linking the account to your personal email. Keep the login info safe and develop a system to ensure logins are passed on to new chapter leaders.
- You can save the login information in your SALDF Space, which is a mini-website where you can organize your important documents and keep a history of officers and a calendar of events. To obtain access to your SALDF Space, go here and click “request space membership,” and then “create an account.”
- Please use the SALDF logo (see attached) or your chapter’s branded SALDF logo as the Twitter icon photo. We’ve also provided a few header photos you may choose from.
- Copy Example: New York University School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) or Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at New York University School of Law.
- Add your city/state.
- Link: http://saldf.org
How to Build a Following
To help build your followers, it’s important that you take the first step – which is following others. Find similar accounts and view their follower list. This should be a regular practice performed once per week as time allows. Additionally, every 2 weeks, review the users you are following and unfollow those who are not following back. Tools like http://who.unfollowed.me/ can help.
Don’t forget to follow:
- The Animal Legal Defense Fund @ALDF
- Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director @StephenEWells
- Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Programs Attorney Kelly Levenda @KellyLevendALDF
- Animal Legal Defense Fund Development Director Vaughn Maurice @VaughnMaurice
- The Animal Legal Defense Fund Media Department @ALDFMedia
Use pertinent hashtags to allow your tweet to show up in the hashtag timeline. Users interested in that topic will see the tweet and consider following your account.
Here are some popular hashtags to consider:
Links should always be shortened using a URL shortener, such as bitly. Using a shortener reduces the amount of characters used by the link and also makes the tweet look cleaner. For example: The URL http://aldf.org/blog/lucky-and-nicole-together-in-solitary/ can be shorted to http://bit.ly/2bSLZTg using Bitly.
Whenever possible, photos should be used in tweets. Bookmark royalty-free image sites such as Pixabay.com and Librestock.com to access images that can be used with your postings. When linking to a news story or article, grab the photo used on the linked page. Note: As of 8/2016, images count against the 140-character limit. But, according to Twitter, soon images and links will not count against the limit.
Optimize your image for Twitter by cropping the image to 1024 x 512 pixels in a PNG or JPG file type. A tool like Landscape can help. http://sproutsocial.com/landscape
- When setting up a Facebook page on behalf of your SALDF chapter, it is important to keep in mind the longevity of the account. Once you’ve moved on and graduated, you’ll want to add a new SALDF leader as the administrator of the page or group. Keep in mind a page is public, so it represents your SALDF chapter to members, and the outside world.
- If you want to use a Facebook group for communicating with just chapter members, set the group to be a secret group so only members know it exists.
- Please use the SALDF logo (see attached) or your chapter’s branded SALDF logo as the Facebook icon photo. You can use a high quality photo from a chapter event or one of the cover photos we provide.
- Fill in the basic page information:
- Sample copy for the About Us: New York University School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF).
- SALDF’s mission is to provide a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.
- Add your city/state and a link to your chapter’s school webpage (if you have one.)
- Link: http://saldf.org
Timeline: The updates you have shared on your chapter’s Facebook homepage.
Newsfeed: Status updates of those your chapter follows.
How to Build a Following
For SALDF Pages, Like Other Pages
To help build your followers, it’s important that you take the first step – which is following others. Find similar accounts and “Like” those pages as your page.
For SALDF Groups, Invite Members to Join
Go to “Add Members” and type in the names of those you want to invite to join the group.
A Few to Like:
Your school’s main Facebook page and the law school’s Facebook page
The Animal Legal Defense Fund
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan
Animal Law Section of The Florida Bar
Animal Law Conference
SALDF Maryland Carey Law Chapter
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at Lewis and Clark Law School
Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Center for Animal Law Studies
Animal Law Review
View your chapter’s newsfeed and share posts from their timeline to yours.
Whenever possible, photos should be used with status updates. Bookmark royalty-free image sites such as Pixabay.com and Librestock.com to access images that can be used with your postings.
Grow Your Page!
Invite chapter members, share the link with your friends and other students who might be interested in learning about animal law! Connect with other student Facebook pages and cross promote to reach an even wider audience.
Monitor your posts carefully, and always, always respond to comments!