Activate Your Middle

There's one in every crowd, folks - that supupper, er, supporter standing just on the sidelines, happy to be part of the movement, interested in building a better world, but unsure if they're ready to put their best paw forward and make their bark heard in the struggle for progressive change. 

So what can campaigns do with the middle of their support base? Organizations use the bulk of their resources—both funds and people hours—to build up lists of supporters. But how, then, do we galvanize that supporter base into a core of action-takers and community leaders?

This is where New/Mode campaign tools fit best. Digital engagement works to give the middle of your digital ladder—all those folks who are more than lookers but less than leaders—something tangible to do:

When you use a New/Mode tool to ask your supporters to send a Tweet, an email, or a letter to a newspaper, you’re opening a door to greater degrees of involvement. To open that door—and keep it open—keep these three proven engagement strategies in mind:

Show your supporters that change is possible

Your campaign landing page should include statements about past successes or concrete goals. For example:

  • “Organizers have already convinced the B.C. government to say no to Kinder Morgan. Help us tell the Prime Minister that all of Canada needs to oppose pipeline expansion.”
  • “By emailing your Senator now, you’ll give us one more letter to bring to the House floor this spring when we demand protection for DACA recipients.”

Demonstrate to supporters that they have agency

Many people won’t take action because they don’t feel as though their contribution matters, or that they have something important to add to a campaign. Get out in front of these automatic blockages to engagement:

  • Style campaign tools to ensure that each supporter has all the resources they need to complete an action. For example, make sure that talking points on a One-Click Calling Tool are clear and up-to-date so that supporters don’t feel intimidated by the prospect of speaking to a key decision-maker.
  • Test campaign tools thoroughly. Difficulty using an online form can turn folks off future actions. Make sure that every supporter’s action is completed and that they know their action has been completed successfully.

Encourage your supporters to be community leaders

Whenever a supporter takes action with a New/Mode tool, they receive a Thank You Email. This is the perfect place to ask supporters to share your campaign on social media (and to share their own efforts with friends, of course). Work toward this by:

  • Setting up thank you emails with links to repost your campaign on Twitter, Facebook, or via email.
  • Making sure the content of the thank you email is warm, appreciative, and geared toward inspiring your supporter to be a leader of positive change in their social networks.
  • In the description of your social media share, consider adding an acknowledgement of your supporter’s effort. Let them show their friends that they are not just reposting but working toward change.