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Published byMargaretMargaret Robbins Modified over 7 years ago
By Daragh Browne @debrun4 Social Media Strategy for a Political Campaign
President Obama has more than 39 million likes on Facebook, and this helped him deliver messages and raise money during his last campaign. This is not organic, and this is not “grass roots.” This was a calculated strategic plan. 73% of American internet users visited social media pages to collect up-to-date political information during the 2010 elections. Over 22% of American adults used Twitter for political information during the 2010 elections. Political tweets that include photos see a 62% retweet boost over text only tweets. In 2008, over 1,800 videos were uploaded by Obama supporters to the campaign’s YouTube channel. These were watched for 14.5 million hours. That much broadcast TV time would have cost $47 million. Why Social Media? #yeswecan
Hundreds of social media options. What ones to use? Absolutely necessary to have presences on at least: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram Google+ and Pinterest increasingly gaining traction. Link to a Blog. No ghost towns! Don’t join networks that you don’t have the available resources to update or be active in. A rarely update presence makes it appear that the campaign doesn’t value the platform or its followers. Focus on quality, not quantity. Social media is all about the long game—you’re building a relationship with your audience, and a relationship takes time. Which Platform?
Learn the language and customize your message for each platform. A common social media mistake people make is sharing a message in the same way across all the social media platforms Learn the niche of the network and customise the message appropriately. For example, Facebook works to build a core community where Fans can share comments and learn more about the candidate. Twitter is great for getting quick reactions to information coming out of the campaign. YouTube works to both disseminate information in a more personal and conversational way than a press release and can respond to constituent questions in a way that benefits other viewers. LinkedIn is a professional forum where specific campaign issues can be addressed via text or video. Each platform has a distinct language.
However, Don’t “keep doing the same thing”. Experiment with new trends, features, and strategies. Consistency is important in terms of frequency. Your social media followers will expect you to tweet, blog, or post on a consistent basis—and if you don’t, they’ll go listen to someone who does. Your social networking presence should be integrated with your overall campaign communications – that means your colour schemes should match as much as possible, your voice and tone should be consistent, and your campaign message must remain constant across all mediums. Your campaign message is the focal point of all of your campaign’s activities… including online. This message needs to be front and centre on your website, e-mails, and on social media. Consistency is key
Don’t BLARE your message! “Speak once and listen twice” A Social Listening Strategy can help you to keep abreast of what’s being said about you, and gauge the temperature of your audience to better direct your publishing strategy. Use social media monitoring tools. Listen to your Audience
Post new stories, connect with new people, answer questions and be engaged. Ask questions. People want to feel like their representatives are personable and want to hear what they say, audience’s will be engaged by questions. Recognize your followers. Recognize and learn from your followers. Stay human. Relate to people. Engagement is Key
Social media platforms are becoming increasingly visual, and your posts should follow suit. Social media is a war of attention, and a beautiful photograph or an informative graphic is a great way of winning the battle for your audience. Even on Twitter, the wordiest of the platforms, tweets with images see a significant improvement in clicks, retweets, and conversions. A picture is worth a Thousand Words
Another title of this section could have been, “Social advertising isn’t cheating! It’s using your resources wisely.” As forces like the Facebook algorithm change and increased competition have made it harder to connect with an audience organically, social advertising has become a viable way of drawing in audiences when you want them to take a specific action. And that’s the main “best practice” with social advertising—only employ it when there’s a specific action you’re prompting users to take (i.e. “Donate now!” or “Tell your friends to go vote today!”). Social Advertising to Expand Reach
Keep Learning : Social media changes fast, and what’s in this week could be out next week. There are always new platforms popping up, and old platforms are constantly evolving. Your campaign needs to be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You need social media to reach new voters. It is vital that you utilise your social media strategy by seamlessly integrating it with your existing communication plan. Summary
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