RootsCamp 2012 special - tips to help your Salsa actions go viral

RootsCamp 2012 special - tips to help your Salsa actions go viral

Thanks to everyone who showed up at our session at RootsCamp 2012 on how to maximize social media sharing on your Salsa actions.

Remember, there may be no such thing as viral, but there really is such a thing as good organizing. Here’s a couple tips for how-to.

Note, no sound yet, but here’s the PowerPoint and my notes:

You might also enjoy our past posts about best practices for online organizing and online fundraising principles and best practices.

Presenter notes:

There’s no such thing as viral. there’s just really good organizing at really good moments which creates real change.

Start with the theory of change. That’s the most important part of getting an action shared. Not the image, not the code, the POINT of the thing.

Put simply, good actions that make a difference get shared. Bad actions with no theory of change that have awesome code do not.

The email

  • Include sharing tools right in the email, it’s easy
  • Here’s the code to use for Twitter
  • Remember to bitly the whole thing in your email, or else it will break when you email it out (tracking codes and all)
  • Facebook is easy too – link the action, not the email ☺
    • Use a link of to avoid the link breaking or chopping your tracking code in the email.

The action page

  • The page – add an image – if you’re good with code, you can edit the head tags to define the title, description and image.
  • But you’ll need a brand new template every time.
  • (or buy the PowerThru tell a friend tool to make it mad simple)
  • Another great idea is to set a goal and/or use a goal-o-meter on the page to give people a reason to want to pass on the action in a limited time frame (help us hit 500K signatures in 24 hours, etc).


  • Testing still to be done (we’re teaming up with the Analyst Institute) but best practice is to always push sharing on the post-action page.
    • When we did an action on Keystone lately, 50% of the action takers shared the action page within 24 hours. That’s good organizing.

The auto-reply

  • Salsa also makes it super simple to set up an autotrigger so that as soon as someone takes action, they get a response (you can set them on timers too)
  • We like to make this content almost identical to what’s on the TAF page. It’s fast and easy to recreate and we see a 5-10% bump in shares from autoreplies.
  • Note – for super-sophisticated tracking, change that &track= value and link for the email share, taf page, and autoreply.

Other tips

  • Contests and games are good – we ran a contest for peoples ‘favorite business’ with the Slow Money Alliance that added thousands of people to their list over a few weeks
  • Making it interactive is the real key – like the example from Roots Action –  a reason to own the campaign is a reason to share it.
  • You can’t really OWN a petition. But you can own the reason why adding your name is important. Keystone is a great example.

Have more questions or need help making this happen for your organization? Contact PowerThru today!