It’s far too easy to lose sight of social media’s true purpose on a campaign. I’ve seen too many candidates and campaigns worry about things that don’t matter like follower counts, negative comments, and everything in between. Social media is an important channel for you to get your message out to voters and activate your supporters, but don’t let it distract you from the ultimate goals of your campaign.
Here are seven ways to ensure your campaign uses social media effectively.
Talk like a human. If your Tweets go through an approvals process, are wordsmithed by staff and advisors, and sound like they could come from any other candidate, you’re not being authentic. Social media needs to be in your voice and nobody can fake that.
At least one content channel needs to be from you, in your own voice. If that’s not Twitter, maybe it’s a weekly blog post or email newsletter. You could try a podcast or YouTube vlog.
If you don’t listen to or interact with your audience, it’s sociopath media. Nobody wants to talk to the person who is always talking about themselves. Social media users expect interaction so don’t be afraid to engage.
Highlighting good behavior online with your interactions also attracts better followers, minimizing the ratio of trolls you have to deal with.
Your followers should be able to see new content from you every time they open up their app. For Twitter, that’s several times a day. For Facebook, it’s a couple of posts every day. You may need to set reminders or alarms for yourself to post, but the key is consistency.
Fit the Content to the Platform
You need to understand what other people are typically posting on your social network of choice. Don’t post your press release as a Facebook status, for example. Tailor your content to the channel. The message can be the same, but the appearance matters.
Keep One Foot Out the Door
Always be driving back to owned audiences, like website, email, and SMS. Too many people have learned the hard way that you don’t own your social media following. There’s no guarantee that you can reach them consistently.
Focus Your Efforts
Don’t stretch yourself too thin. If you can only focus on one platform, make it Facebook, where most voters are. Don’t just create social media profiles, drive traffic to them, and then not post anything.
Ignore Vanity Metrics
It doesn’t matter how many Facebook or Twitter followers you have. These are vanity metrics. Don’t waste your money trying to catch up with your opponent. If you post good content, the followers will come.
Don’t let social media become a distraction for your campaign. It’s far too easy to lose sight of the main goal. Your challenge is to keep the main thing the main thing.