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Infosheet: Quick Social Media Tips For Activists & Citizen Journalists

A hand holds a smartphone while recording a group of people. (Morguefile)

Title: Social Media Quick Tips

By: Oh Shit! What Now? Collective member Kit O’Connell

Download here: OSWN-Social-Media-Quick-Tips.pdf

First published: August 14, 2017

Description: Leaderless movements thrive on social media and modern technology like smartphones. These quick tips from our Social Media 101 class help you get more from each of the big 3 major social networks — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — and offer some basic ideas for becoming a citizen journalist to share breaking news and protests.

Printing tips: Print this document in Duplex mode (Long Edge) in Portrait mode.

Other valuable resources: Social Media 101 slides & links (updated August 2017 version) 

OSWN Social Media Quick Tips


Social Media Quick Tips



Pick your networks

  • Prioritize the best network(s) for you
  • Post consistently and regularly
  • Set aside time to maintain your account, interact with your followers & top accounts


  • Movements & orgs should have a Facebook page (NOT personal profile)
  • Facebook Groups are great for group organizing
  • Facebook Events for public events driven by your movement
  • Hyper-shareable memes are the best But not “too many words”
  • Use Facebook native video
  • Like & share your own stuff
  • Don’t post on top of yourself — space it out!
  • Enlist your friends


  • Massive viral potential regardless of follower count
  • Easy way to reach celebrities, brands, politicians?
  • Create international solidarity & activist networks
  • Reach out to famous & powerful accounts (politely)
  • Use hashtags (responsibly)
  • Tweet a lot
  • RT yourself
  • Have great images (with accessible captions)
  • Study your analytics
  • Tweet a lot
  • Have a personality


  • Image driven, young user base
  • Pick your best photos
  • Use filters sparingly
  • Mostly use the Instagram square format
  • Post sparingly or use Instagram albums (NEW)
  • Use Photoshop Express or another phone-based editor
  • Integrate with your Facebook page for analytics
  • Apps: Layout, Instaweather, Boomerang, Vidstitch

You Are A Citizen Journalist

  • Put justice & movements first
  • If you see something unjust, broadcast something
  • Get it out fast
  • Be trustworthy; Don’t share stuff that hurts your movement
  • Develop a personality and consistent style
  • Create a place online for people to find you
  • Learn to take good photos with your equipment (practice!)
  • Secure your devices (encrypt, lock, shut off/wipe)
  • Fundraising: Paypal, Fundrazr, Patreon???
  • Equipment: Batteries, monopod, microphone, cords cords cords

Go Live

  • Emergency livestreaming is OK, consistent livestreaming is better
  • Keep your camera steady (monopod, stabilizer, selfie-stick?)
  • Narrate what you see
  • Respect people’s boundaries … unless they are fascists
  • Cops will go after you first (then other journalists)
  • Be extra careful about WHAT you broadcast to cops
  • Facebook LIVE is king, but consider YouTube Live, Periscope, Twitter/Instagram live?


All original Oh Shit! What Now? materials are copyright free, except where otherwise noted, and can be freely reprinted, shared, and reused. If you’ve got feedback, email us.

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