Social Media is no longer optional – It’s a campaign mustout
A Social Media Element in Your Campaign is not an Option
A winning political campaign must be visible. If your candidate is not instantly recognizable, he or she will simply not get the votes. Traditional campaigning platforms to engage with the electorate include television, radio, print ads, rallies, and often door-to-door knocking. However, today we live in a digital world. The statistics demonstrate that voters are increasingly turning to social media channels for news, rather than TV networks and print media. Younger voters in particular, are more and more formulating decisions based on Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram and the opinions of their peers which are shared via these channels. Social media platforms enable not only peer-to-peer discussion, but they host countless groups with huge numbers of members, sharing endless data every single day. Undoubtedly, your voter base is online and connected to online communities. Therefore, if you want to win, you must have an impactful social media presence.
Using Social Media Platforms to Your Advantage
1. Delivering your message: There are few platforms which rival social media when it comes to delivering a succinct message to large numbers of voters. A carefully crafted tweet or Facebook post can reach your entire constituency with just a few taps of the keyboard. YouTube, for instance, provides a highly popular platform for broadcasting political commercials and delivering well-crafted, complex messages. A YouTube video can be linked to a vast network of social media channels, plus the candidate’s website and email list, giving a single video an enormous reach. Typically, social media content is cost-effective to produce, making it an affordable way to reach new audiences.
2. Mining online communities: A skilled social media campaign manager will be able to mine and collect huge deposits of useful data, indicating voter preferences and effectively testing reactions to any given message. It enables a campaign to quickly recraft what is not resonating, or boost what is evidently working. Social media also allows for multi-lane delivery of the same message, tweaked according to demographics. As a result, it allows a campaign to pinpoint and reach specific target groups. Online communities are therefore excellent resources for recruiting volunteers and fundraisers.
3. Call to Action: Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, include “Call to Action” (CTA) buttons which can be used to recruit target audiences for immediate action. For instance, a campaign can upload a CTA button to make a donation, attend a rally, visit the campaign office to help with canvassing or other tasks. Cross-platform apps enable a single message to be simultaneously communicated across all social media channels, which means a candidate can activate supporters at the click of a button.
You Need a Social Media Manager
A successful social media campaign does require expertise. The very same features that make social media a winning tool within a campaign strategy can also bring about the downfall of a campaign if not executed properly by staff who understand the nuances of this rapidly evolving medium. Social media accounts must always be up to date, responding to events and developments, or else become obsolete. While social media provides numerous powerful and effective opportunities, it also offers the same opportunities to opponents. A good social media manager will know how to make the most of these platforms while safeguarding a candidate's image and reputation.