July 25, 2013

How to Use Social Media to Rally Supporters


Anti-abortion and abortion-rights activists gather at the Texas state capitol on July 12, 2013.

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Texas state senator Wendy Davis became a social-media heroine last month when she staged a successful marathon filibuster to derail a controversial anti-abortion bill.

Ms. Davis's ability to stand and talk for hours drew a lot of attention, but it was the efforts of social-media strategists working behind the scenes that helped fan the flames of public dissent against the bill.

In this month’s episode of Social Good, two of the activists who led the social-media campaign, Jessica Luther and Virginia Pickel, discuss how they used social networks to rally supporters—and how others can use similar tactics to advocate for their own causes.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.