Social Media 101

The 2015 federal election is a great time to make connections using new tools.

One of those new forms is social media — a simple, popular and effective method of sharing messages quickly and connecting with political leaders and candidates.

The timeliness and perceived influence of social media is very real. Used effectively and in a dignified manner, social media can elevate the Association’s visibility, allow us to connect through storytelling and to collectively influence election platforms.

Fast facts about social media in Canada today

There are some 14 million Canadians logging in to Facebook on a daily basis, and nearly 6 million Canadians are logging onto Twitter each month. Politicians and governments use social media to monitor and analyze the public environment on policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Throughout the campaign, Canadian political leaders, parties and journalists will be posting daily updates on Facebook and live ‘tweeting’ on Twitter to engage with their followers.

Make it count: the best times to post on social media

How you can be active with social media

Twitter basics

What is a #hashtag?

A hashtag is a user-created standard for identifying tweets belonging to a topic. Simply include the tag in your tweet and other people searching for the same tag will be able to find it.

What is a handle?

A handle, also known as a username, is how people and businesses are identified on Twitter, and is always preceded immediately by the ‘@’ symbol. For instance, Stephen Harper is @pmharper and our Association is @fedretirees

Get started with Twitter

Once you’ve joined the Twitterverse, search for and follow Canada’s main political parties and leaders. MPs and candidates may also have Twitter handles. Keep up with what’s trending in Canadian politics on Twitter at the website http://politwitter.ca/page/canadian-politics-hash-tags.

Parties

Bloc Quebecois:  @BlocQuebecois

Conservative Party:  @CPC_HQ

Green Party:  @CanadianGreens

Liberal Party:  @liberal_party / @parti_liberal

New Democratic Party (NDP): @NDP

Leaders

Bloc Quebecois:  @Mario_Beaulieu
Conservative Party:  @AndrewScheer
Green Party:  @ElizabethMay
Liberal Party: @JustinTrudeau
NDP: @theJagmeetSingh
 

Party hashtags

Bloc Quebecois:  #BlocQc
Conservative Party:  #CPC
Green Party:  #gpc
Liberal Party: #lpc
NDP Party: #NDP

Sample tweets to get you started

Tweet #1: Re: Employers must honour pension commitments to pensioners/vets/employees-<insert political party/leader handle here>: will you commit to it in #elxn42? #5MillionRetirees <space permitting, insert political party #hashtag here>

Tweet #2: Re: Employers must honour pension commitments to pensioners/vets/employees-<insert political party/leader handle here>:what are you doing about it? #elxn42 #5MillionRetirees <space permitting, insert political party #hashtag here>

If any of the main political parties have not made pension protection a priority, please tweet to any applicable parties:

Tweet #3: Re: Employers must honour pension commitments to pensioners/vets/employees-<insert political party/leader handle here>:why isn’t this issue on your <insert political party hashtag> #elxn42 platform? #5MillionRetirees <space permitting, insert political party #hashtag