Lately, a number of well-meaning yet difficult call-to-action Facebook messages have graced my inbox. One in particular for the Pacific Cinémathèque and I have been inspired to write a few tips on how to ensure that your message will go viral. In a city with only a couple of independent theatres, it is simply shocking that the Pacific Cinémathèque, a cultural institution, has gotten so few signatures on their petition considering their cause is worthy, here is why:
(Before you stop reading, these tips can be used for any campaign where you are trying to get the reader to do something a.k.a. pretty much all of them.
The point of petitions is to get as many signatures that you can. Therefore, it is most efficient to get people to share the petition for you. And, if you want people to share your petition/message, make sure you are using a platform that has social media sharing buttons. And when I say “platform” I mean, will the petition software that you are choosing automatically have a share option pop up after the person has added their signature.
People want one-step options. In the Pacific Cinémathèque example, they provide a link to a webpage that provides more information, which is great, and there, we do find share buttons, but only a small group of people will get that far. Most people, myself included, know the Pacific Cinémathèque. and trust that the decision-makers at the Pacific Cinémathèque are experts in the area of what they need, and (based on that relationship, a signer, myself included, is happy to defer to their judgement. Therefore, after reading the brief message, rather than go for more information, I am ready to sign the petition, and pass it along.
Make your appeal in Facebook by using the “notes” application because that also allows for one step sharing (you will notice a “share” button below the note) and then if you want to ensure your people got the message (rather than just hope they get it through their feed) you can message that link.
If you are interested in signing the Pacific Cinémathèque petition, here is the link:
My personal message to the Pacific Cinémathèque:
You have chosen methods that make me do a lot of work in order to share (which I will do because I LOVE you, and because I do social media for a living), but most people who sign won’t pass your message and the petition along, because it takes to long. We are a sad, sad society.
Good luck with getting your new space!