Because so many people spend time online it’s often really helpful to have your campaign on the internet. This can do lots of great things including:

  • Helping you find new supporters, to make your campaign more powerful and active.
  • Helping you explain your campaign to potential supporters, the press, and those in power
  • Help you raise money, to keep your campaign going.

If you’re just getting started with your campaign you don’t need to build a full website there’s lots of fast and free things you can do that are nearly as good. For example:

  1. If you just want to get more supporters  you could start by creating a petition.
  2. If you just want to be on social media you could create a Twitter profile or a Facebook page
  3. If you just want to build a community where your supporters can connect and share ideas you could create a Facebook group
  4. If you just want a simple website where your supporters can sign up for email updates you can do this  for free using MailChimp or other platforms

The rest of this guide will teach you how to do these things!

 

The quickest way way to tell the world what you’re doing and get involved with your campaign is to start a petition.

The good and bad of starting a petition.

The good things

  • It’s quick, easy and free to get a petition up and running
  • Most petition websites allow you to quickly update your supporters as your campaign grows, so they can stay involved.
  • The website might help you find new supporters by emailing people who signed other petitions

The not so good things

  • You can’t contact people directly (as you don’t have their contact details).
  • This will make it hard to stay in touch with your supporters if you run a campaign for a long time.
  • If you use the government petition website you’re not allowed to contact the people who signed your petition

2. If you just want to talk to supporters about what you’re doing, and find lots of new supporters try creating a Twitter profile or a Facebook page

Creating a Twitter profile or Facebook page can be a really powerful way of telling the world about what you’re doing and allowing supporters to hear more, stay involved, and have conversations with you.

The good things

There are hundreds of millions of people on these social networks which means it’s easy for you to find supporters

The not so good things

  • Both social networks use algorithms to decide what messages to show to which people. This means that even if you spend hours crafting a really good message The social network may decide to only show it to one or two people.
  • This is one of the key reasons why email is so important for campaigners — because you’re not reliant on a social network to decide that your message is worth people seeing.
  • You might get criticised, trolled or worse. The Guardian have good tips on how to deal with that here.

3. If you just want to build a community where your supporters can connect and share ideas you could create a Facebook group

Facebook Groups are awesome — because they allow you to create a community where you can chat with your supporters.

The good things

  • You don’t have to do everything yourself! You can build a community to help you build your campaign
    Members can have rich conversations using video, photos, live video, documents and much more.
  • You have a lot of control over the privacy settings so can control who discovers your group, see below to find out more.
  • Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook every day, so you’ll probably see lots of people get involved with your group.

The not so good things

  • Facebook uses algorithms to decide what messages to show to which people. This means that even if you spend hours crafting a really good message Facebook may decide to only show it to one or two people.

Facebook Groups have a few privacy settings: Public, Closed and Secret. Here’s how to use them:

  • Public groups are basically fully public. They’re good for when you want the world to find out about your work and get involved. Anyone can find the group, request to join and see who is in the group. Admins can control who joins, or they can allow any member to approve new members. Use a public group when you want a fully public space for supporters to connect and plan your campaign.
  • Closed groups, are a bit more private. Anyone can find the group, request to join but only members can see who posts in the group. Admins can control who joins, or they can allow any member to approve new members. Use a closed group if you want people to be able to find your campaign, but you want to keep control of who gets into the group.
  • Secret groups, are much more private. You can only find a secret group if you’re invited by an existing member and admins can keep total control of who is in the group. Use a secret group if you don’t want people to discover your campaign through searching for it, and you want to keep tight control over who is in the group.

To create a Facebook group follow this tutorial.

4. If you just want a simple website where your supporters can sign up for email updates you should consider creating a website on Wordpress or Squarespace

Once your campaign is up and running and you think you want to keep it going for a few months you should probably create a website so that your supporters can read more about what you’re doing.

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to create a website on Squarespace, which is a simple, easy to follow website system. We love Squarespace because it’s cheap, and allows you to ask your supporters to sign up for updates and donate to support your work. Alternatively MailChimp allows you to set up a free, very simple, one page site where your supporters can sign up for email updates.

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