Published: October 22, 2020
You’ve been inspired by the events of 2020 and you’re thinking about running for office. Or maybe you want to get involved in your community and lift up local voices. Here are 10 essential actions that will help you make the most of social media.
Have a plan and a schedule for weekly posting. Spend time cultivating original content — both new and evergreen material that can be shared repeatedly. Keep a calendar or simple spreadsheet listing the date shared and site link.
Get adept at sharing across platforms, while crafting different approaches for each. Facebook welcomes medium-form rants and essays. LinkedIn invites a formalized approach. Twitter lends itself to pithiness. Instagram is visual and meme-oriented.
Set aside time every day to engage in other people’s posts. This accomplishes two things: a higher rating in the social media algorithms so more people see your activity AND direct engagement with potential voters.
Fact-check yourself. This seems self-evident, but trolls will come after inaccurate information. Speed and accuracy are equally important on political social media. And you are responsible for spreading facts since most Americans receive some (or most) of their news from social media.
Ignore the trolls. Trolls are inevitable. Keep your own comments positive and upbeat. Just smirk to yourself and move on. Engaging them is exactly what they want you to do, so don’t give in.
Visuals and videos win the day. For better or worse, humans on social media want visual stimulation and don’t want to work too hard. The popularity of Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat and TikTok attest to this. Incorporating visuals and videos into Twitter is also helpful. Sharing video content directly into these platforms instead of embedding YouTube links earns you even more points.
Consistently ask (and answer) questions. Leave open-ended Twitter questions, ask opinions on Facebook, invite polls and queries on Instagram stories, answer FAQ’s in TikTok form. This fosters engagement with your voters. Make sure to share your opinions and thoughts too; don’t leave your audience hanging.
In every post, remind people WHY you are running for office and ask people to vote for you.
Keep your ear to the ground. Data monitoring is your friend — and it’s free! From Google to Facebook analytics, watching your traffic can provide huge insights for where and how your campaign grows. You can also use social listening tools to monitor opponents and key phrases, your own name, or perhaps misspellings of your name. You aren’t paranoid, you’re just campaigning.