Tweet Your Lawmaker
Are you or your bank an active tweeter? Utilize Be Heard's interactive Congressional Twitter map below to find your lawmaker's Twitter account and tweet at them directly. Be Heard provides an up-to-date pre-populated message to reflect the current priorities of ICBA at any given moment, or take the initiative to insert your own 140 characters.
Why Twitter? Recent reports indicate that all 100 Senators now have full-time, active Twitter accounts, and staff to monitor them. Twitter is an easy, effective, and public way for community bankers to communicate their positions to Congress from anywhere, at any time.
How to Use the Map
- Find your state and hover over Senate or House. For Senate, you may decide to tweet both of them depending on the issue. For House, find the appropriate representative from your district, they are listed numerically by district in the pop-up. If you don't know who your representative is, find them here.
- Click on the member's name and another window directing you to Twitter will pop up (Note: If you do not have a Twitter account, you'll need to create one to be able to tweet. Click here for a guide to get started).
- Click "Tweet"
Note: To write your own message, delete the whole tweet except the member's Twitter handle and the hashtag so that we can track your messages for re-sharing purposes. Then compose your own tweet.
- Keep it short: The art of Twitter is to get to the point right away. If you must include a longer sentence or thought, break up your thoughts into bite-size chunks and use the numbers 1/2 or 2/2 (or however many you need) after each tweet to make sure your member of Congress know that your tweets are connected. Generally, after four consecutive tweets, it might be a better strategy to write an e-mail or call instead.
- Everything is on record: When you tweet, it goes to the world. Yes, you may have a protected Twitter account, but it is still floating online somewhere for someone to discover. So always be wary of the idea that once you tweet a message, you cannot take it back (even if you delete it). Also another thing to keep in mind: ever since April 2010, the Library of Congress officially keeps a record of all public tweets.
- Use appropriate hashtags: To connect your thoughts to a relevant conversation, please be sure to use hashtags when you can. This way, your tweet will not be lost in the shuffle and might even gain more exposure in the Twittersphere. Check the ICBA social media landing page for relevant advocacy hashtags. Also, too many hashtags is overkill. Limit your hashtag usage to two or three.
- Know when to engage: When tweeting for advocacy purposes, inevitably, there will be occasions where other Twitter users (even maybe the member of Congress you are trying to reach) may disagree with you and tweet back a rebuttal. Understanding that everything is on record, it's a good guideline to know when to stop tweeting, especially when the conversation gets heated. Generally, be courteous and wise, state your opinions, and back up misconceptions, and then after that, simply agree to disagree and stop tweeting back. Sometimes, if someone you don't know tweets back at you, it's good to check out who they are before responding.
To keep up to date with our Twitter advocacy, be sure to follow us @ICBA. Also, if you would like to be included in advocacy tweet alerts, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.