Social Media for Social Movements: Lessons Learned from #GoogleWalkout

A teal background with the words “Social Media for Social Movements: Lessons Learned from #GoogleWalkout” in white.

#GoogleWalkout went viral, trending around the world and still being covered by international media one year later. On the day of the walkout, we reached 3.2 million impressions just on @GoogleWalkout’s tweets alone.

A teal image saying “3 social media for social movements golden rules: Show & tell, keep up momentum, and remain accessible.”
Three social media for social movements golden rules: Show and tell, keep up momentum, and remain accessible.

We’ll dive into those three a bit later, but let’s get started!

Choose a memorable handle, hashtag, and icon/banner.

Formulate messaging and stay on it.

All you need is Twitter — usually.

Use a social media manager to handle multiple accounts and schedule posts. Be mindful of timing.

Keep up momentum. Start a drumbeat.

There’s a time and a place for different outlets.

Every post should have a purpose.

Show don’t tell — well, don’t just tell.

  • Are you making signs? Document the sign making process.
  • Are people physically gathering somewhere? Take photos showing the size of the crowd.
  • Is someone making a speech? Video and post clips — even better, post a transcript as additional tweets in the thread.
  • Is your action individually distributed, ie people logging out of an app at a specific time? Post a photo of the logout screen. Encourage people to post signs (it can just be a piece of paper with a sentence in Sharpie) in your hashtag, then retweet them. For a lower risk option, in case people are afraid to attach their account to the action, let people know they can DM you their signs and you’ll post them yourself.

Make sure your content is accessible.

  1. Adding alt-text to your images (check out this simple guide).
  2. Never posting a screenshot of text without posting the same content as text. Sighted people often feel posting a screenshot is a great way to get around Twitter’s 280 character limit, not realizing they’re cutting off people who use screen readers (typically those who are low vision or blind) from their message.
  3. Making sure your graphics meet the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) color contrast standard. As you are making your graphics, utilize WebAIM’s contrast checker to be sure your color choices won’t make your content inaccessible to those with low vision, low contrast vision, or color vision deficiency.

Reach out to more established accounts for support, and keep your DMs open.

Pick and choose which reporters you speak to, and go into an interview with a goal.

Don’t feed the trolls.

We look forward to working with you in the future — remember, our DMs are open! When we fight together, we win together, and we’re by your side.

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#GoogleWalkout 11/1 11:10am to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace that doesn’t work for everyone. Views ≠ Google.

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Google Walkout For Real Change

#GoogleWalkout 11/1 11:10am to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace that doesn’t work for everyone. Views ≠ Google.