How to use social media in your election campaigning

Local elections for councils and combined authority mayors are taking place in May 2024. Find out how to use social media to campaign on local elections.

04 Apr 2024

Elections are key moments to influence politics and policy. We need council and mayoral candidates to turn their political promises into concrete action by adopting ambitious Climate Action Plans, and transforming their communities into fairer, more sustainable places for generations to come.

To help get candidates started, we’ve created a template Climate Action Plan for councils in England and Wales, and template Climate Action Plans for each of the 10 mayoral regions with elections this year. But for us to secure their commitment to these plans, candidates will need to see widespread support for climate and nature action across their communities. And social media is now a key means by which we can build and mobilise that support. 

Read on to find out how you can best use social media in this year’s local elections.

Use our templates

We’ve created template social media assets and posts for you to use during local elections:

Find out how to make the most of these templates below.

Share the load

Using social media effectively can take a lot of time, energy and effort. We suggest setting up a team of 2-3 people to look after your channel(s). Here’s how you could split it up:

  • Research and planning. Map out event and campaign moments and plan when and where to post about them.
  • Writing and scheduling content. Create your posts and use scheduling tools to save time getting the word out.
  • Responding to people. Reply to comments and queries.
  • Promotion and analysis. Boost your content to widen your reach and analyse what’s working well on your channels. Find out more about paid social.

Watch our video on how best to share social media responsibilities.


Cover the basics

If you need to set up and use social media accounts for the first time, please check out our beginner's guide to social media.


  • Facebook is where our core community audience tends to be.
  • Aim to post daily or at least 3 times a week to keep up engagement. 
  • Post at popular times: 7-9am or 5-7pm. You can schedule posts if you can’t post at those times.
  • Keep it concise – how often do you click the “read more” button? 
  • Always post pictures, photos, article links or, ideally, a video. Never post plain text. 
  • Be chatty. Facebook is about people talking to people. Avoid formality, jargon etc. Focus on humour, urgency and action.
  • Always include a “call to action,” something you want the viewer to do.
  • Always try to prioritise data capture, eg use an Action Network action to capture contact details so you can ask that person to get more involved.

X (previously Twitter)

  • This is less of a priority than Facebook as it’s less community-focused.
  • X is good for news as well as talking to other organisations and VIPs.
  • Add relevant and currently popular “hashtags” so that people following them will see your content. For these elections, we're using the hashtags #CouncilElections and #ClimateAction for council elections, and the hashtag #ClimateMayors2024 for mayoral elections.

Instagram/ TikTok

  • These platforms require photos and videos to be the main focus of your post (TikTok is only short videos).
  • Keep it chatty like with Facebook, and focus even more on humour, urgency and action.
  • Younger audiences are more likely to be on these channels.
  • Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in posts, so add links to your profile bio using a service like Linktree and highlight that links are available in your bio when you post.
  • Use hashtags as you do on X.

Write copy

In all cases, the aim is to repeat and reinforce your messages across platforms so that people are seeing and hearing it repeatedly and it’s sinking in. 

  • Keep it concise and keep all important info “above the fold” ie before any “read more” buttons/ links.
  • Stay chatty and focus on humour, urgency and action.
  • Grab attention with urgency: “Breaking news,” “Revealed,” “Unbelievable” and “Today” are all good to use.
  • Always include a call to action ie something you want the viewer to do. If nothing else, ask them to share your post. 

Use images and video

Social media content with an image and especially a video is much more likely to get attention. Our brains respond quickly to images, particularly moving images, and colour compared with other types of information, especially when people don’t have time to read a lot.

A photo, graphic or video can often tell a better story than words. Here are our top tips to help you out:

  • Use a variety of images to keep your audience’s attention.
  • Use relevant and engaging images that add something to your content. Photos and videos of people in action work well.
  • Find free stock images at Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash.
  • Take your own using our guide for good photos and videos.
  • Check out Canva if you’re looking to design something. There are lots of design guides to help you.

Ensure political impartiality

Friends of the Earth is proudly party politically impartial, because it’s effective and it’s right. We tell it how we see it, no matter who's in government or opposition. Friends of the Earth local action groups agree to party political impartiality when they register as such.

Allies for environmental justice can come from all sides of the political spectrum. If we assess all parties based on their record and delivery, not on our preferences for a party or a candidate, we can speak out with integrity when politicians do the right thing, and when they don’t. Being party politically impartial will make your campaigning more effective and allow you to build a wide base of support. 

Friends of the Earth complies with all electoral law and regulations, and we're committed to conducting our activity in a way that's politically impartial. This guidance will help ensure you can remain impartial while continuing to speak out on environmental issues, from stopping fossil fuel extraction to cleaning up our air.

Read our guide to political impartiality.