Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), a coalition including the American Booksellers Association and a number of Local First groups, has re-launched a grassroots social media campaign in support of e-fairness. The #efairnessnow campaign is timed to coincide with the start of the lame-duck Congressional session, and the hope is that the campaign will go viral, thereby catching the attention of members of Congress.
When the new Congress convenes in 2015, Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate and will increase their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Given that, if e-fairness legislation is not passed in the lame-duck session, the long-term outlook for federal sales tax fairness legislation is muddled at best. So getting the word out now and creating an organic groundswell of support among stores and their customers could go a long way to helping get e-fairness legislation passed by the end of December.
“The best gift you can give your community and your favorite local businesses this year is to call and tweet your Congressperson, and ask your friends to do the same,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and coordinator of the Advocates for Independent Business. “This is a critical issue for the viability of independent businesses. Everyone who believes in and supports Local First needs to make their voice heard.”
AIB is strongly urging all its association members to post its social media campaign images on their Facebook and Twitter feeds on a daily basis, in the hopes of prompting their loyal customers to do likewise. Stores are also encouraged to create their own images to add to the campaign.
Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an example of a store that created its own #efairnessnow image and posted it on the store’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. “We wanted to join in on the movement, in addition to sharing on our social networks some of the photos provided. We thought we’d use our Instagram account to join in,” said Alex Meriwether, marketing manager for Harvard Book Store. “It just took a few moments to do, and we shared to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We got a fair number of ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ on each, and attached a link for more information.”
Ultimately, the goal of #efairnessnow is to persuade customers of indie stores to show their support for Main Street retailers by posting social media campaign images on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds with the hashtag #efairnessnow.
ABA member bookstores that want to participate in the #efairnessnow social media campaign can find more information, shareable images, suggestions, and more on the AIB campaign page, or by contacting David Grogan, senior public policy analyst for ABA, at [email protected].