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By Elizabeth Barcelos

Whenever I tell someone about my job as a social media manager, I’m often asked things like, “How do you think of what to post?” or “Where do your ideas come from?”

Over the years, I’ve built what I like to call my content toolbox: a collection of communications tools that work for every social media platform. They’re changing all the time, but what sticks with people and makes them pause instead of scrolling onward is consistent and translates across platforms.

This time around, we’ll be walking through how you can add member features to your content toolbox. Or to put it another way: We’re going to show the power of highlighting the real people that make up our union. In a time where our movement is being attacked and stigmatized as some big scary Other, it’s important to keep this in mind: We are the union. #WeAreCTA is more than just a hashtag! The union is the individual teachers, faculty, nurses, school psychologists and ESPs that people already know, love and respect.

In this column, I’m featuring social media content from chapters like yours to help inspire you on your content creation journey.

Set aside a day to highlight members of your chapter

Whether you call it Member Monday, Teacher Tuesday, Faculty Friday, or a day you choose, think about the many folks who are members of your chapter. If you highlight one member a week, that’s how many weeks of Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays or whatever day that you potentially have content for!

You can keep it as simple as a photo and short bio or fun fact. If you’re up for it, get fancy and put together something fun (and easily replicable) in Canva. Here are a few examples from chapters across the state that I think are great as inspiration if you’re thinking about doing this with your chapter’s social media.

But really, this is about so much more than figuring out what to post each week. This is about our members. Everyone deserves a chance to shine. Everyone deserves to feel seen and heard and a part of their union. This is a small but powerful way to help folks, especially rank and file members, feel a stronger sense of belonging and ownership of their union power.

In their own words

When you’re trying to get your message out, there is no stronger messenger than a real person speaking from the heart. If you want to step up your game of featuring your members, use your chapter’s platforms to uplift their voices by sharing their own words.

Whether your member spotlights are about evergreen issues like community schools or more timely things happening on the school board, people are far more likely to stop scrolling for a second and read what you have to say when it’s coming from a familiar face.

Let’s get started!

Okay, so you’re ready to start featuring members on your social media channels. How do you start collecting content about your amazing members? I’ve found that the easier you make things for the people you want to feature, the more people will actually participate.

Based on the forms I’ve used in the past to collect content for CTA’s social media features, here’s a template you can use to create a Google form for your social media features. You’ll get all the info you need to start creating member profiles and keep it organized.

My inspiration comes first and foremost from you, our mighty CTA members. If you’re not already following other chapters on social media, check out Get Social for a list of social media links for chapters from across the state.

I love highlighting your work in this space, so if you’ve seen any memes for union educators that make you lol or member profiles that you love, send them to I might even feature them in a future column!

Elizabeth Barcelos is CTA’s social media editor.

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