Join the Academy in engaging with members of Congress and their staff on social media. Use the Academy's social media toolkit to start a conversation about issues impacting ophthalmology.
Why engage on social media
Social media is a powerful way to engage with elected leaders, on both the federal and state side of governance. Not only does your message go directly to lawmakers and their staff, it also can be seen by your peers, other stakeholders and others in the public. This expanded audience is nearly limitless. One retweet, like or share can expose our message to a vast new population. We’re not just speaking to the intended target — we’re also expressing to patients and others what issues ophthalmologists care about the most.
The Academy has made it easy to leverage social media to get our message across. Follow these steps to engage your audience on Twitter and Facebook.
Find your congressional representative
Don't know who your legislator is? Use the Find Your Legislator tool to find your elected officials.
Draft a message
Compose your post. Keep posts short if possible. Aim for about 140 characters on Twitter (the limit is 280). You can post longer messages on Facebook, but the more concise you are, the better. Pictures are extremely effective in sharing your story on social media. Be sure to include a few relevant photos to engage your followers.
Include some visuals
In this day and age, everyone is competing for their message to be heard. Take yours to the next level by engaging your audience with visuals like photos, infographics and videos. Add a photo of you working at your office, an infographic on a particular issue or a video of a member of Congress commenting on a specific issue. The Academy will feature campaign-specific visuals throughout the year, like these:
Tag your post
If you use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to send messages, tag your members of Congress with their official social media handle. You can find social media information about the representatives on their congressional websites or through the Find Your Legislator tool.
Examples of Twitter handles:
Tennessee U.S. Rep. Phil Roe’s handle: @DrPhilRoe
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono's handle: @MazieHirono
Florida U.S. Rep. Val Demmings: @RepValDemings
Include the Academy's campaign hashtags
Follow the Academy
Make sure to follow the Academy on various social media channels and tag the Academy in your posts:
Use our message examples
- Thank you [insert legislator’s social media handle] for leading the charge against excessive prior authorization in MA by cosponsoring HR3107. #PriorAuthFix #Advocate4Sight
- Speak out against prior authorization burdens. Urge CMS for prior authorization guidance on Medicare Advantage plans. [insert legislator’s social media handle] cosponsor HR3107! #Advocate4Sight #PatientsOverPaperwork
- Prior authorization abuse is having negative effects on patients’ access to care. It’s also driving up healthcare costs for physicians due to additional administrative time required to process the paperwork. Let patients be the priority in healthcare by supporting HR3107. [insert legislator’s social media handle] #Advocate4Sight #PatientsOverPaperwork
- Attention colleagues! Please reach out to your member of Congress regarding the rising drug prices and lack of transparency. The current gag-rule in place is negatively impacting patients’ health and pocketbook. Urge your member of Congress to cosponsor S.2553/ H.R. 6144. #Advocate4Sight
Organizational blogs & LinkedIn
Write about issues impacting ophthalmology and your patients on your organization’s or facility’s blog or LinkedIn page. Blog articles should be around 250 words in length and include photos, videos and/or hyperlinks to relevant websites or documents so viewers can learn more. Don’t just ask for support. Explain why your audience’s support matters to your issue.
Engage with fellow stakeholders
We’re all part of this fight. If you see one of your members or colleagues or fellow organizations engaging on this issue on social media, click on the thumbs-up or heart buttons to "like" their messages. Better yet, share or retweet their messages to your own followers. This will help expand our reach as we seek to spread our message to a fresh audience.
Other ways to take action
Write your federal or state lawmakers. The Academy’s online tool provides you with prewritten letters that you can email your lawmakers on issues critical to our profession. To make it even easier to take action, the online tool also allows you to tweet at your members of Congress.
Contact Megan Tweed (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Academy’s grassroots coordinator, with questions or concerns.