The Power of Social Media
Social media is a great tool for encouraging residents to opt out of receiving a phone book. In fact, social media is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to reach the public; as of January 2016, nearly 2.3 billion people worldwide are active social media users.
Take advantage of our sample Twitter and Facebook posts below to raise awareness about the environmental issues with phone books and to encourage people to opt out.
Twitter: Crafting the Perfect Tweet
Twitter is a simple way to quickly share short pieces of information. Twitter posts can be a maximum of 140 characters in length, but 100 characters is the ideal length for maximum distribution. Including images in your tweets will make them stand out in the Twitter feed; these images should be 1084 x 512 pixels*. You may find some sample graphics in the Toolkit’s Graphics Gallery.
What should I include in my opt-out tweets?
- Link to the Yellow Pages Opt Out page by including this link in your tweets: bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Increase your reach by tagging other relevant organizations in your tweets. To do so, type the organization’s Twitter handle in the copy of your tweet (@OrganizationName).
Below are some examples of Twitter posts for your use. Feel free to copy and paste directly into your Twitter account or customize them to better fit your purposes. You can find images for posting in our Graphics Gallery.
- Nearly 70% of adults “rarely or never” use a phone book. Do you? If not, #optout! It’s easy. bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Did you know that U.S. phone books waste over 4 million trees each year? Opt out @ bit.ly/YP-opt-out #TheseWereTrees
- Printed phone books easily translate online. Opt out today! #TheseWereTrees bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Did you know? Nearly 66% of #phonebooks were sent to a landfill in 2009. Opt out today! bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Lessen your impact by opting out of phone books today. bit.ly/YP-opt-out #earth #green [ADD TREES/COAL GRAPHIC]
- Did you know? Opting out of one phone book can save greenhouse gases = to burning 8.8 lbs coal. Visit bit.ly/YP-opt-out [ADD COAL GRAPHIC]
Hashtags: A “hashtag” ties together conversations of different users into one stream on the same topic. This allows social media users who are not otherwise connected to engage on a topic of interest and facilitate conversation. In this way, hashtags can also increase the visibility of your tweet. For a detailed introduction to hashtags, check out this blog post from Hubspot.
If space allows, consider using the following popular hashtags in your posts to attract the attention of those interested in larger issues of conservation, forest depletion, and sustainability.
#green; #earth; #environment; #sustainability; #conservation; #deforestation; #rainforest; #activism; #earthtweet; #ecofriendly; #forests; #trees; #phonebooks; #optout
You may also consider using your own hashtag to raise buzz about this issue. This will also allow you to track engagement by clicking on the hashtag itself. Possible hashtags to use to encourage opt out include:
Facebook: Appealing to Your Audience
Facebook allows you to share lengthier posts with slightly larger images. However, longer isn’t always better. Shorter posts with compelling graphics tend to receive more shares and comments than longer posts, giving you more visibility within the Facebook news feed. Keeping your Facebook posts under 100 characters is ideal. Always include a link to an article or an image. Images on this social media platform are ideally 1,200 x 628 pixels. You may find some sample graphics in the Toolkit’s Graphics Gallery.
What should I include in my Facebook opt-out posts?
- Link to the Yellow Pages Opt Out page by including this link in your posts: bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Increase your reach by tagging relevant organizations in your posts. To do so, “like” the organization’s page on Facebook, then type their username into the copy of your post (@OrganizationName).
Below are some examples of Facebook posts for your use. Feel free to copy and paste directly into your Facebook account or customize them to better fit your purposes.
- Online searches are quickly replacing phone books as a way to search for information. Studies show that 70% of adults "rarely or never" use a phone book. Yet the books keep showing up on our doorsteps. Opt out today! #GetOffMyDoorstep bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Did you know that U.S. phone books use wood fiber that equals to over 4 MILLION TREES each year? Opt out of phone book delivery @ bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- The internet has replaced the Yellow Pages as a source of information. Time to opt out of phone book delivery and stop wasting these valuable resources. #conservation #GetOffMyDoorstep bit.ly/YP-opt-out [ADD PHONE BOOKS PHOTO]
- Printed phone books are turning into a relic as more people turn to online search engines to find the information they seek. Opt out today! #TheseWereTrees bit.ly/YP-opt-out
- Nearly 66% of #phonebooks were sent to a landfill in 2009. That’s a whole lot of paper! Opt out today: bit.ly/YP-opt-out [ADD PHONE BOOKS PHOTO]
- It’s easy to save trees by opting out of your phone book delivery. bit.ly/YP-opt-out [ADD TREES GRAPHIC]
- Did you know? Opting out of one phone book can save the amount of greenhouse gases equal to burning 8.8 pounds of coal. Visit bit.ly/YP-opt-out to #optout. [ADD COAL GRAPHIC]
- Local governments pay nearly $60 million annually in recycling and disposal fees for unwanted phone books. Let’s use that money for something else that our community truly needs. Opt out today. bit.ly/YP-opt-out
Here are some examples of how Facebook can be used once you incorporate the text and images. Feel free to mirror these exactly or create your own. You can find images for posting in our Graphics Gallery.
Test optimum posting times. Facebook viewership changes throughout the day, and there may be certain times at which your posts receive the most attention. Rather than sticking to a 9-5 schedule, try posting on nights and weekends to see how many likes, shares, and clicks your posts receive (find more information about tracking Facebook analytics in Facebook’s Help Center). Luckily, unlike Twitter, Facebook provides a free scheduling tool that allows you to test optimal posting times with ease. After you craft a post on your agency/organization’s Facebook page, click the down arrow to the right of the Publish button. Here, you will see an option to “Schedule.”
Did you use this Toolkit to promote opt-out to your residents or networks? Take our brief, 2-minute survey and let us know how we can improve this resource. We appreciate your feedback!