5 Ways Politicians Can Use Social Media Better

11 Oct

Well, it’s election season and that means the smear campaigns are in full force. We’re all familiar with the television ads featuring the opposing candidate‘s unflattering picture, with quotes likely “taken out of context,” supported by a seemingly partisan campaign group. Since Obama‘s landmark win — due in large part to a rigorous social media campaign — many other politicians are incorporating Twitter, Facebook and blogging into their campaign work, and that great!

However, I think there might be a few ways to better maximize social media to see an ever greater return on the investment. Here are a few tips I can offer after actively reviewing some local candidates Facebook and Twitter outreach.

It’s Not All About You:

An aspect of social media that makes it different from traditional advertising is that It’s Not All About You. Your followers and fans want to know more than why you’re the best candidate — you’re already presenting those reasons elsewhere.Use social media as an opportunity to explain what’s happening in the political process.

For example consider posting when and where the next “meet the candidate” event is scheduled, identification of important pending legislation, or polling stations in your district. Remember, many people are disaffected with politics in general because it lacks transparency and generosity. So, social media becomes a way to embrace what voters feel is currently lacking.

Be a Resource Person:

This goes along with point number 1. Politics can be difficult to get excited about for some because the information is frequently diffused and difficult to follow. Why not use social media to tell people what’s going on. Informing others on how they can get involved and volunteer not just with your campaign — but with the campaign efforts of others in your party helps people see that politics (and your party) are bigger than just you.

Give Us the Good News:

Although it’s likely easier to identify all the things that are going wrong in politics and why your the best person to “clean up Washington,” sometimes voters want to hear about the things going well and how those things will impact our lives. Social media is an opportunity to identify what else you plan to do to keep these productive improvements moving forward. Granted it might sound a little “pollyannaish” but let’s face it, hearing about what’s going wrong and the person or party supposedly responsible for it, can be a depressing and cause distance rather than an affinity for a particular candidate.

Tell Us About THE Issues:

We know that there are a number of issues that reign supreme: Health Care, Employment and Jobs, Taxes, and Higher Education to name a few. But I’m sure there are more — especially at the local level. Why not use social media to inform your followers and fans about THE issues? Not just those beyond this list, but what are the dynamics and distinct characteristics around these issues too. The more voters know about issues, the better informed we can be to make a good decision with our vote.

Be Consistent:

If you want to continue growing your base using social media — you can’t just post every so often and expect people to pick up what you’re laying down. Like any brand attempting to make inroads using social networks, you have to be consistent with your messages. The more frequently you post information that people are interested in, the more opportunities you have to get others involved in your conversation starters and sharing the good word.

I’m sure I didn’t touch on everything politicians using social media for campaign purposes. So, what politician have you seen doing a good job using social media? Let us know so we can check out there work. What advice would YOU offer to politicians? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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Posted by on October 11, 2010 in social media


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