If you want to build a successful social media presence for your campaign, you need to do two things and they’re easy to remember because it’s right in the name – social and media. First, it has to be in your candidate’s own voice and reflect their personality. That’s what being social is all about. Second, is approaching it as a medium, like TV, blogs, or podcasts where you’re in charge of the programming.
When we review candidates’ social media, most of the time they’re not posting often enough. I recommend posting 3-5 times a day on Facebook and at least 7 times a day on Twitter in order to develop the engagement needed for your program to be successful. That can be daunting if you’re already struggling to post just once a day, but if you approach social media content planning like the manager of a TV station with hours of airtime to fill, you’ll be on the right track.
Here are some ideas to get you started on building your campaign’s social media program lineup.
More and more voters are consuming politics as entertainment making cable news’ political coverage more popular than ever. Incorporate cable news-style coverage of issues of the day into your social media feed, including controversies, scandals, and debates. It’s an easy way to drive up engagement and give your followers the ‘excitement’ they want in their social media feeds.
In order for your social media to be personal, make sure you’re regularly sharing content that has nothing to do with politics and shows your personality. That can be workout updates, thoughts on TV shows you’re watching, or some other interest you have. Sure, it’s hard to maintain hobbies on the campaign trail, but your voters expect you to do it all – be a normal person and be everywhere at once.
A great way to fill out your program lineup and build good will in your community is to share good news from organizations in your community, whether that’s highlighting good work or promoting an event. They’ll be grateful for your signal boosting on social media.
Social media users love sharing their opinions and also having their opinions validated by the people they follow. As a candidate, you’re expected to have an opinion on everything so make sure you share it. Don’t worry if it’s not edgy enough. As long as it’s YOUR opinion and not what your campaign staff decided you should think, it will work on social media.
This is the main type of programming most campaigns have covered already. Just the facts. Keep people up to date. Make announcements. These posts should be the “vegetables” for the varied diet of your social media feed – used sparingly if you actually want it consumed.
Bonus Tip: Sharing is Caring!
It’s difficult for a campaign to produce all of this content on its own, but you can share content from other users on the platform. In fact, you should, it’s good etiquette and builds reciprocity. Just like TV shows or podcasts have guests on to promote their work, share social media from fellow candidates, local organizations, and news outlets.
An effective social media strategy is key to building a winning online campaign. To be effective you need to pair authentic social engagement with a robust, consistent programming schedule.