Advocating with Social Media

Social media reigns supreme for marketing. Managers spend countless hours promoting their location, business, sales promotions, properties, local events, exceptional employees, and even the occasional silly image or cute puppy. These efforts are all great in helping you expand your business, but advocating for your industry will help protect you from regulatory battles in the future or communicate your position in a current battle.

Working an advocacy campaign into your regular social media profiles is not difficult. To help you, VRMA has a section of shareable posts in its new VRMA Voice Messaging Guide.

Types of Advocacy Posts
There are many types of advocacy posts. However, there four types of posts that are essential for promoting the industry and reaching policy makers. These are the public education, research, direct lobbying, and grassroots lobbying.

Public Education
These posts inform the reader of who you are and what you do. Explaining aspects of the industry in these types of posts helps consumers, regulators and community members get a better understanding of what it is that your business does. Here is an example:

When you stay at a #VacationRental, you get everything you have at home in a new and unique destination. Many families enjoy having a common living space where they can relax.

— VRMA Advocacy (@VRMAadvocacy) November 11, 2017

Research
Statistics rule the day on social media. They are great for sharing and get a lot of interaction. They also tend to be easy to turn into a shareable graphic. Research posts allow you to share information from an association or other organization to support your industry. Here are some of VRMA’s best examples:

82% of U.S. adults agree that #ShortTermRentals should be legal. @pewresearch @USTravel #VacationRentals pic.twitter.com/qj4v087VSG

— VRMA Advocacy (@VRMAadvocacy) May 26, 2017

#VacationRentals make up 8% of the total U.S. travel market. #NTTW17 pic.twitter.com/GHgoKcaMyf

— VRMA Advocacy (@VRMAadvocacy) May 9, 2017

Direct Lobbying
Policymakers presence on social media continues to grow, this includes holding direct conversations with officials and their staffs. U.S. Congressional Members posted over 345,000 Tweets in 2017 and 226,000 posts on Facebook. They are actively watching these mediums to display information, but also to obtain it. While letter, phone calls, emails and in person meeting are all great methods, direct lobbying through social media can sometime cut through the other messaging options. Local and state officials are also engaged on this trend and many advocacy groups have seen great success by directly Tweeting their officials. Here is an example:

#VacationRentals important to the #DC economy. Ask @councilofdc and @VoteMendo for reasonable regulations. https://t.co/1vPpSfXVfz pic.twitter.com/vUnr9k3OLZ

— VRMA Advocacy (@VRMAadvocacy) September 29, 2017

Grassroots Lobbying
Direct lobbying is talking to the elected and appointed officials. Grassroots lobbying is reaching out your followers to take action. This can include asking people to Tweet an elected official, encouraging the use of a hash tag, or requesting individuals to use an association’s letter or petition campaign link. Spreading the word about causes in your industry helps get more people engaged than those tied to your business. Here are some of VRMA’s best examples:

Join the 2,000 individuals who have signed our petition calling for reasonable regulations in the #BalearicIslands. https://t.co/bI4e3JTOOH pic.twitter.com/v0VDvBqtQ9

— VRMA Advocacy (@VRMAadvocacy) September 26, 2017

Now it is your turn. Utilize some messages from our guide, share some of our posts on Twitter @VRMAadvocacy, and help us start the conversation on the importance of the vacation rental industry!

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