Strategic Self-Promotion Tips: Social Media for Political Campaigns
We have seen the impact of social media on political campaigns create astounding results in the last few years. By offering a place for constant conversation and a 24/7 forum for opinions, social media platforms create the opportunity for people to start discussions, share ideas and get more engaged with politics. Keep reading to find out how to use social media to your advantage in a political campaign as a political candidate.
You are the BRAND
Treat your political campaign as a brand when creating your campaign strategy. Your face and your values are your branding. Prominent public figures should have their own personal branding, so make sure that you have defined your brand before you start. Find out how you can resonate with your target audience on social media and uphold their expectations of you. Use social media platforms to communicate your values, campaign message and demonstrate how you plan to bring value to the public's lives. Social media also provides great platforms to showcase any past initiatives.
Get ahead of the game
Before you even start running for office, you should have your social media presence established. Develop your social media strategy early, so that you have time to make changes and perfect it before you start. Starting to build a social media presence early on will mean that you have a wider reach when you actually start your campaign, and more content for your community to see and get a feel about you. This is important to build a strong, positive perception.
Developing a strategy
As you know, all political campaigns must be very organised and controlled to be successful. The same is true for a social media strategy for political campaigns. Use a clear, cohesive strategy to determine which social media platforms you will target, the target demographic for each of the platforms and the subsequent tailored strategy for each platform. Make sure that you set clear objectives to keep your strategies and brand presentation consistent.
Paid campaign strategy
You also need to create a separate strategy for paid campaigns with quality images and copy. Persuading your community to back you up means you should be using detailed targeting (you can “micro target” smaller groups), with specific ad copy and creatives. For campaigns, social media is great to reach more of your community, but you have to plan ahead as Facebook and other platforms have guidelines for political advertising. You can think about using at least three sets of campaigns including awareness, consideration and action, to guide the audience into changing their perception of you and encourage them to take actions to support you. In your campaign strategy, carefully determine how to allocate your budget for paid campaigns on each platform and the various messages you plan to convey.
Use social media to embrace what your supporters love about you. Reference issues that they care about or reach out to your community with affinity building posts. Use authentic content to show the audience your transparency, like what a day in your life looks like, as well as content with the purpose of advocacy. Use content that is aligned with your objectives and demonstrates your values, and avoid a PR nightmare with controversial content.
Monitoring and social listening
Use social listening to keep up to date with audience sentiment regarding you and your opposition. Doing so will allow you to combat negative attitudes early, before they get out of hand. This will also help you to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing as well, don't be caught unaware with unexpected disadvantages.
When used right, social media can be a great platform to help you influence your audience perceptions and generate support for your political campaign. Use these tips to form a strong political presence on social media and effectively communicate your messages.