The Occupy movement has taken both social media and activism to a new level. Social media can be utilized differently by various users, but always has the potential to be a tool of great power.
An occupation traditionally involves activists coming together to occupy a specific, symbolic site. However, in our current technological state, anyone can be an activist anywhere at anytime.
There’s a social media network applicable to everyone today. There are major networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but there are also numerous specialized networks for music lovers, bakers, photographers, mothers, tourist, etc…
Social media, if used properly and strategically, can be the lifeline of this movement and serve as a platform for change.
How to #occupysocialmedia strategically and effectively on major networks
- Profile Banner: When you create a Facebook Page for your Occupy group you can optimize your profile image by taking advantage of the banner’s full size. Doing this will allow you to add important content to your banner such as upcoming events or special announcements.
- Groups: A Facebook page is great for displaying content and keeping viewers up-to-date, but Facebook groups allow more interaction. Facebook groups have three key features that make it a powerful tool for individual Occupy committees to communicate.
- Group Chat is a feature that involves all members of the group, who are online at the same time, to communicate efficiently by joining the chat window.
- Group Notifications keep members informed and involved. Not only can group administrators send out messages to the entire group, but every time anyone posts in the group a notification will be sent to the other members.
- Group Docs is a feature where group members can upload basic text documents for the entire group to see and revise. This could be useful for getting quick approval and feedback on press releases, blogs and any other type of media needed.
- Events: Creating events on Facebook is a useful way to promote upcoming happenings. It’s a simple, structured layout that includes all the necessary details. Facebook events can also be synced with Google Calendar, which can make it more efficient to manage.
- Twitter:Twitter is an excellent resource to distribute content as well as monitor content in real time. Three great Twitter features that should be utilized are profile backgrounds, lists and advanced search.
- Profile Background: Just like your profile banner on Facebook, your Twitter background can be used as valuable space to display important information.
- Lists: Lists can be used to group different Twitter users together into specific categories. Each Twitter profile can create up to 20 lists. Lists make it quick and easy to monitor breaking news and events and keeps your profile more organized and manageable.
- Advanced Search: Twitter can be a convenient listening tool. Advanced Search allows you to search specific key words, Twitter profiles or users in a specific geographic area. This can be used to monitor certain content and help you discover users in your target audience.
Managing an Occupy Twitter account can be a lot of work for one person. Designating a few occupiers to manage an account can be beneficial. When having more than one person manage an account it’s a good idea to end Tweets with the person’s initials or some kind of identification number. This will help keep things organized and keep each individual accountable for the content they distribute.
- YouTube:Let’s face it, pictures and videos truly are worth a thousand words, and those thousand words are more crucial than ever when it comes to the Occupy movement. Websites like YouTube and Flickr can bring the realities of the Occupy movement right into your own home. A few things to keep in mind when filming and posting videos on YouTube are the length of the video, the title and description, and the key words.
- Length: The majority of your basic YouTube videos should be no longer than two minutes; keep in mind that you have a busy audience. Good, concise videos are more likely to be watched all the way through and shared by the viewer. Be creative with your videos and make them engaging.
- Title & Description: Make sure your video has a captivating description and title that’s not misleading. Again, be creative and concise to capture your audience’s attention. A good description can be the determining factor to get someone to watch your video.
- Key Words and Tags: Be sure to include key words into your title and description. You should also create tags with those key words to improve your search engine optimization.
- Foursquare:Foursquare is a great social media platform that allows you to meet friends, discover different places and save money. Foursquare can benefit the Occupy movement with the proper use of check-ins, photos and lists.
- Check-ins: Foursquare users check in once they arrive to a destination. You can view the location’s profile to see who else has also checked in. Users checking in can post tips; this can be beneficial if users start checking in and post updates or services they can offer while being present. Each Occupation should designate a person to monitor check-ins in order to utilize those in attendance.
- Photos: Foursquare users have the ability to upload photos and post tips when checking in. All occupiers should be checking in and posting good pictures and tips to represent that specific occupation to potential occupiers.
- Lists: Lists can be created to group together various locations across the world. An Occupy list should display various occupations. You can even break the list down by state or region to include all occupations, large and small. This can provide an outlet for users to locate an occupation wherever they travel.
- Blog: A blog is essential because it can be used as a professional platform to distribute specific content in a packaged form. Any blog website can be used, but a WordPress blog may work best if you have various people working on it; WordPress is an easy, familiar blog platform, which can make it easier to manage. Several people can be authorized as administrators to post stories and blogs based upon each individual occupation. When blogging, keep keywords in mind throughout the title and post to increase search engine optimization.
Listed below are several social media sites that have been successful. Check them out!