One of the benefits of putting your petition online is that you can share it with lots of people in almost no time. It's simple -- the more people you tell about your petition, the most signers you'll get. Below are the top ways to spread the word about your petition. Your friends are more likely to respond to something they see again and again, so use as many of these together as you like, rather than choosing your favorite.
EMAIL IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Email is the most important way to get people involved in your petition. It's been the backbone of Avaaz's success -- over the years, more people have signed Avaaz petitions after being emailed by someone they know than from anything else. With email, you get to reach out to people and tell them the whole story, not just 140 characters of it. If you have an active petition, Click here to use our email guide to write a winning email and share it with everyone you know.
SOCIAL NETWORKS SPREAD THE WORD
Posting to Facebook and Twitter may be the easiest way to share your petition with lots of people you know. For Twitter-- make sure to include any user handles that will help make your target see your messages and any trending or topical hashtags that will help people with similar interest notice your tweet. And ask that friend with 10x as many followers as you to retweet you ;)
JOIN A CONVERSATION ONLINE
There are lots of ways to post information online. Try posting to your blog or lining up a guest post on someone else's -- you can go into a lot of detail, even more than in an email, because anyone reading it has sought the post out. So go ahead and make it personal, add links, charts, bells, and whistles. Maybe an organization you're a part of keeps a website and will post your petition there. And if you see a news story on your issue, consider posting a link to your petition in the comments section of the story -- readers might visit the petition and the reporter will learn about your efforts.
We've all done it -- looked up and down our chat contact list to see what people are saying. Whether Skype, Gchat, AIM, or something else, posting a link and personal note in your status message is a great way to give those procrastinators in your life something useful to do.
FINDING INTERESTS ON FORUMS AND LISTS
Part of the challenge of spreading your petition is finding people who are passionate about your issue. Tapping into the ways that people have already linked-up on shared interests can help you avoid reinventing the wheel. Think about email lists you're on that may have other interested folks (an organization, sports team, professional association, etc.) or try searching for listserves on your topic. Web forums, sites where people discuss a certain topic, are also great places to look. You probably don't know everyone on these lists, but that's a good thing -- reaching out to people you've never met but are interested in your issue is crucial for growing your petition.
... and of course ...
FOCUS ON YOUR PETITION!
Great ideas tend to sell themselves. It may seem obvious, but the best trick to upping signatures is to start with a super strong petition! And while the spreading you do is crucial to get the ball rolling, your petition really starts picking up steam when people who you've never met start sharing it with THEIR networks. Little things like sharpening your title, coming up with a witty tweet recommendation for signers, or picking a great image can help make your petition more sharable. Don't obsess about perfecting your petition before anyone signs it, but always keep your eyes open for ways to improve it.