Social Media Guides

Is it your first time using TV or film storylines in your organization’s social media outreach? You probably have lots of questions about how to make it work for your organization. We’ve put together two guides based on our experiences and best practices we’ve seen from other organizations to help you get started and make the most of AndACTION.

Want to see how an organization like yours turned a TV or film storyline into a successful social media campaign? Check out these buzz-worthy examples:

In 2014, the Ocean Conservancy took advantage of all the hype surrounding the release of Sharknado 2 by posting clever tweets about the film.


During the Emmy campaign after Transparent’s first season, stickers with the hashtag #BeTransparent were placed on the doors of single-stall restrooms in restaurants around Los Angeles to encourage turning gender-specific restrooms into gender-neutral ones.

Be Transparent Campaign image of a male and female figure combined

Check out our guides below and then find more examples in our Case Study Gallery.

Building a social media campaign from a specific storyline

Not every AndACTION scoop needs to result in a large-scale campaign. Sometimes you might just want to post a tweet or two to turn up the volume a little. Other times you might find that a film or episode has the potential to turn it up to 11 and thrust your issue into the spotlight. Being prepared to take advantage of the opportunity will increase your chances for social media success.

Here is the step-by-step process to get started using an AndACTION tip in a quick social media campaign that ties back to your work.

  1. Find the right storyline. You can find an upcoming story in your custom AndACTION email alerts, or search our website with keywords or pre-selected topics. Don’t just jump at any old storyline. Make sure that you can generate relevant and shareable content about the story. Here are some key things to ask yourselves:
    1. Can we say something smart or interesting about this story? Do we have a unique perspective that will stand out?
    2. Does the storyline dovetail with current events or work we are doing?
    3. Is the reference to our issue meaningful or substantial? If not, is it made by a popular character who can generate buzz?
  2. Find the right tone. You don’t want your content to come across as tone-deaf. Don’t “Kenneth Cole” it. If you are working with a comedy piece, try not to appear humorless. If you don’t know anything about the show, definitely study up. Good social media content sparks conversations and you need to be ready to be a part of it. You don’t have to endorse or agree with the content in the show to leverage it. But, you also don’t want to alienate its fan base. It’s helpful to check your drafts with someone who knows the show before it goes out – it’s easy to miss something or fall in love with your own idea.
  3. Build shareable content. Finding the right storyline and the right tone won’t do you much good if your content doesn’t pack a punch! Check out Spitfire Strategies’ guides on Going Viral and Using Visuals to drive engagement. If you have some lead time, you might consider live tweeting an episode. These tools can help you build the content you’ll need to really make a splash.
  4. Track and adjust. Now it’s time to launch your content through your social media channels. But, just like with any campaign, putting the content out into the world isn’t enough to be successful. Keep tabs on how your posts are performing and make adjustments to maximize your results. You may even want to experiment with a few variations on your posts. Which ones are performing best? Perhaps you should promote those through ad buys. Learn from the successes (and failures) of your posts to raise the bar on your content in this campaign and the future.
  5. Share your experience with AndACTION. We’d love to hear about your experience! Let us know how your social media campaign worked out. Were you able to strike the right tone? Did your posts gain traction? What lessons did you learn?

Want to learn more? Check out these relevant resources from Spitfire Strategies:

Incorporating a storyline into an ongoing campaign

If you have a solid campaign already underway, you can leverage TV and film storylines to engage new supporters or keep your current audience interested. The main thing to keep in mind is how to leverage the story without derailing your existing plans. Our guide can help you do just that!

  1. Have a strong campaign plan. The best way to stick to a plan is to have one. Without a solid campaign plan in place, it will be hard to keep your campaign on track as new and exciting content emerges. Spitfire Strategies’ Planning to Win tool can help you get your campaign ducks in a row.
  2. Be ready! Look at your plan for windows where discrete, storyline-based posts would be a good fit. There won’t always be a good storyline when you need it, and the best storyline might be ill-timed. But if you have a sense of when things might fit together well, you’ll be primed to maximize impact. Think about times in your calendar when you’ll have a communication lull, and get your team ready to look for stories to fill the gaps. Importantly, regular visits to the AndACTION opportunities database can give you a heads up about upcoming storylines. The advance notice might make the difference between a smart move and a lost opportunity.
  3. Be flexible, but stay true to your plan. While plans are important tools for leading your campaign to success, a truly great campaign plan has space for the unforeseeable changes you can’t control. If an excellent storyline opportunity emerges, but doesn’t seem to fit in, take the time to explore if a change of course might benefit your campaign. If there’s a great storyline that you could leverage more deeply or for a longer period of time, it may be worth doing so. If you discover a storyline, series or film whose fit with your campaign is too good to be true, let us know! We’d love to help you make the most of the opportunity!
  4. Check out our tips for social media campaigns. For more tips and best practices for leveraging a storyline in your outreach, check out our How-To Guide on Building a Social Media Campaign.