Dear Addy: Social Media

Dear Addy,
I often hear about using social media to engage policymakers and spread awareness to friends. Does this really work? How can I advocate on social media without being annoying or preachy?
Social Media Maven

Dear Maven,
Social media can be an excellent platform to raise awareness for an issue or cause you believe in. Social media also provides a broad audience and often provokes conversation with people you may not have an opportunity to interact with in person. Be thoughtful with your posts-if your friends are using language on social media that frustrates you, avoid using it yourself. The key to using social media as an advocacy tool is to make it personal; when you share how a law or policy affects your family, you put a face to the issue.
As you may know, March is Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month, and a great time to increase your advocacy efforts on social media. For years, HFA has shared a fact a day about bleeding disorders on our social media outlets. These daily posts include information about hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease, and other bleeding disorders, coupled with an easy to understand visual. HFA encourages you to join others in the community by sharing these facts with a personal comment on how the post inspires you or applies to your life. Be sure to check HFA’s Facebook page daily for the latest updates!
Remember, using social media is one way to advocate. Just as we sometimes take the freeway to get to a destination, it’s also nice to take familiar backroads. Use social media in conjunction with traditional letter writing, phone calls, and in-person meetings with your legislator to spread awareness about bleeding disorders.

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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.