April 2024

How to Start a New Social Media Page for Your Local Association

Are you active in your local KEA association? Do you enjoy taking part in social media and keeping your fellow educators informed and active online? If so, following are some online basics for developing a presence for your local:

Review your assets:

  • What social media accounts does your local already have? What additional accounts do you need/want?
  • Who can run them? Designate one person and have a reliable backup in charge of all your social media for consistency. Ideally, the local president should not have this job.

Find your audience:

  • Facebook remains the most popular social media network across most age, gender, and education demographics. The exception is the 18-29 cohort which uses Instagram (71 percent) more than Facebook (70 percent). But remember, both Facebook and Instagram are Meta platforms, so posting can be easily coordinated and automated across both.
  • No other platforms break 30 percent usage.
  • Facebook pages are better for engaging members and the public. Create a private Facebook page if you want to keep it to just your local members. Private pages don’t guarantee someone won’t share what you post publicly. And always remember that some conversations are best held in person.

Build a network:

  • Now that your profile is live, follow people and businesses in your community, pages of other local affiliates, the National Education Association and its various pages, and KEA.
  • Share/retweet/like content on your followers’ posts that show up in your feed. Keep comments positive and supportive. Respond when followers reach out to you.
  • Advertise your social media accounts in emails, on your website, in newsletters, etc.


Although it may not seem like it, there are legal rules that govern what can be posted on social media, especially by associations and businesses.  One of the most important issues to be aware of is using a publicly available social media account to make statements in support of or in opposition to a clearly identifiable candidate for office.  Making such statements could trigger reporting obligations and/or possible fines. Full compliance with campaign finance law is mandatory for any KEA local using a social media platform.

The law specifically prohibits express advocacy (making statements to the general public advocating for or against the election of a clearly identified candidate for public office) if dues money is used in any way. If your social media pages are public, you should avoid making statements about candidates for office during an election cycle.

In practice option 1: If your social media is available to the general public and your local uses dues dollars to support a website/social media platform—including paying for a web administrator, paying a stipend to a member to handle the account, or paying to boost specific posts—you may NOT engage in express advocacy for public viewing/readership. This means you must NOT include statements such as “vote for Jones” or “Defeat Jones” nor urge people to go to the Jones campaign website.

In practice option 2: If your union does NOT use dues dollars to support a website/social media platform you may post items that contain express advocacy for both members and the public. This means there are no costs, and the administrator is a volunteer.

In practice option 3: Dues money can always be used for strict member to member communications, which can include express advocacy.  If your social media accounts are private and are limited only to members of your local, express advocacy is permitted within the member group.  Likewise, if you operate a website and it has a secure section for dues paying members only, express advocacy regarding candidates for office is permitted there.

Note:  Issue advocacy is distinct from express advocacy for candidates for public office.  That means your page can always be used to communicate about issues relevant to your members, including bills pending in the legislature, policy decisions made by your local school board, etc.  So you can always post something like, “Vote against constitutional amendment 2; NO VOUCHERS!” That statement is clearly related to an issue, not to a candidate.

Remember, your educator voice is an important part of the ongoing conversation about public education.  Don’t ever let decisions be made about you or about your students without your input!