#RailDay2016It’s that time of year again – Railroad Day 2016 on Capitol Hill is just around the corner. On March 3, hundreds of rail advocates from communities around the country will come together to discuss the impact of railroad investments and rail policy decisions with their members of Congress.

This year, in addition to taking this local message to congressional offices in Washington, DC, we want to spark a wider social media conversation. According to the Congressional Management Foundation, 70 percent of congressional offices said that social media makes them more accountable to constituents.

This is your chance to get involved no matter where you are. We’re using a platform called Thunderclap that sends one message from many people using either Twitter or Facebook at the same time – creating a social media thunderclap so to speak. It’s easy to do and will allow rail advocates across the country to join us on Railroad Day.

To participate in the Thunderclap using your Facebook or Twitter account, follow these simple steps:

1. Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/37628-railday2016-on-capitol-hill
2. Click Support the #RailDay2016 Message on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr
3. You’ll have the option to customize the given message
4. Click Add My Support
5. Give Thunderclap permission to authorize your account (Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr) to send the message on Railroad Day

Additionally, if you’re on Twitter, you can share and retweet pro-rail messages throughout the day on March 3 while tagging your members of Congress and using the hashtag #RailDay2016. Below are some sample messages along with instructions on how to sign up for Twitter.

Sample messages:
• #FreightRail uses cutting-edge technologies to enhance #RailSafety www.AAR.org/Report #RailDay2016 [Tag Member of Congress]
• Freight RRs are part of a #transportation network that delivers 54 tons of goods per person annually #RailDay2016
• The train accident rate has fallen by 79% since 1980 because of #innovation www.AAR.org/report #RailDay2016
• Moving 1/3 of all US exports, #FreightRail makes American industries more competitive around the globe #RailDay2016
• Short Line #Railroads handle 1/4 of all cars on US #rail system. Thx [Tag Member of Congress] for supporting 45G & keeping us moving! #RailDay2016

How to Create a Twitter Account
1. Go to https://twitter.com/signup
2. Enter your full name, email (not shown publicly), and a password
3. Click Sign up
4. Create a username (this is also known as a “handle” and it is your identity on Twitter)
5. Double-check your name, email, password, and username
6. Click Create my account
7. Check your email inbox for a confirmation email to complete the sign up

Tips for Optimizing Your Profile
• Your username is the name your followers use when sending @replies, mentions, and direct messages; it can use part of your name or be creative.
• Hatch your egg! Make sure to add a photo of yourself.
• Add your location, including city and state; Members are more likely to pay attention to their constituents.