One of the most challenging aspects of social media for a candidate and their campaign is it seems vast – where to begin? Starting at zero if you’re new or considering peers and competitors who may have much larger followings is daunting.
That’s where having a framework to focus your efforts will lead you to produce more consistent results. With the daily churn of social media, it’s far too easy to get distracted from what really matters to your campaign.
Here’s the framework I use to develop social media channels:
- Someone should follow us because [REASON].
- We will only post about [TOPIC], [TOPIC], and [TOPIC].
- These are the regular content segments we will create to convey our key messages: [CONTENT], [CONTENT], and [CONTENT].
Let’s break this down one line at a time and see how your campaign can put this into practice.
Why Should Someone Follow You?
The answer to this question should be specific, clear, and memorable. Most campaigns never even think about this and they have social media profiles out of a sense of obligation or because they want something from users on the platform like donations.
The more compelling your answer, the better the quality of your followers and engagement. “I’m running for office” is a bad reason for someone to follow you. “I’m running to be an effective elected official” is a better reason, but the best answer is “I’m passionate about fixing these specific problems to make your life better.”
If your “why” is so generic that it could be said of any other candidate, there’s no reason for someone to follow you on social media.
What Will You Post About?
Answering this question is more about what you won’t talk about than anything else. Placing restrictions on yourself gives you the freedom to focus. When you commit only to posting about your campaign, key policy issues, and some personal interest, you don’t have to decide whether or not to do cringe-worthy viral challenges, add a hot take on pop culture, or craft a clever meme.
You will show – not tell – your audience what those topics are. A one-off funny Tweet that gets lots of attention may gain you followers, but they won’t engage when the feed returns to regularly scheduled programming.
What Content Will You Consistently Produce?
In addition to the usual updates, retweets, and replies, you need to produce content that gives value back to your followers. As long as your content is consistent, it can take on many forms.
You could do a weekly newsletter or blog post, a short audio or video diary vlog, or even just a Twitter Q&A. The production quality is just a tenth as important as producing it regularly.
You can follow this framework as closely or as loosely as you want, but your campaign will benefit from the focus of even just going through this as an exercise.
Social media is fundamentally about building relationships and you’ll get out of them more than you put into them, but a strategic investment is the key.