Published: June 16, 2020
Social media platforms demand nearly constant content creation. It can seem like an overwhelming task, but if done well, it’s worth it. Strategically developed content can make a big impact on your campaign, attracting new supporters while keeping established ones engaged.
Yes, your grandfather is on Facebook and inadvertently spreading misinformation because he doesn’t understand how it works. And so is a staggering percentage of the voting population.
But you have a vision and a story you want to get out there, right? Well guess what? You’re the expert. You’re the thought leader. Facebook offers you a golden opportunity to share your carefully crafted message with the world. It doesn’t have to be a formal, five-paragraph essay. It can be simple and to the point. Maybe half a page, maybe just a sentence.
“I’m running for the school board for these three reasons: x, y, z.” There’s a position. Post it.
Expand on why x, y, and z to matter to you. Then share an anecdote about how you were first inspired by x, y, and z. And now you’ve already got three posts.
If you’ve written position papers, great! Share them as Facebook posts. Share each one of those posts repeatedly.
Videos also make great content for Facebook. Here’s a good “this is why I’m running” video. In less than a minute, we learn a lot about the candidate’s experience and values.
Here’s a cut-and-dried bright spot for spreading news and insights. (If you can avoid the rabbit hole of trolling and verbal wars that misconstrue and mangle meaning and waste precious time.)
Use Twitter as a platform to broadcast your own press releases. Daily information can be its own form of a press release.
Twitter is where news first hits and then trickles down into other social media. Don’t spend too much time following threads or leads, since that web is complicated and tight. Instead, make your statements, engage a little bit, and move on.
A good example of tweet-as-press-release is Mayor Pete’s announcement of his new book. It’s a mix of text and video.
Pinterest reaches 83% of American women between the ages of 25 and 54. More than half of its users have college degrees. This is a vast treasure trove of likely voters. While Pinterest is a bit of a hotbed for angry political memes, it’s also a great platform for sharing responsible content. Craft your own Pinterest board and fill it with:
- Your own voter guides
- Illustrated step-by-step diagrams of voting by mail
- Helpful hints for online learning
- Resources helping parents in any way during quarantine
- Trustworthy visual bar graphs supporting your views and platforms
- Inspiring memes devoted to politics, women, history
- And let’s face it – the best use of Pinterest: recipes.
Hilary Clinton’s Pinterest board is a great source of inspiration.
Why not start your own channel? Everybody’s doing it. You can speak directly to voters in essay-like videos. You can get super creative with pop-ups and polls and text. Or you can just speak. How about a vlog explaining how to vote by mail? And people always need help with explanations of ballot issues. Sure it’s from your perspective, but it’s a solid way to demonstrate your viewpoint, platform and command of the issues.
Or if you want to do something different, why not host our own cooking show where you share your dad’s recipe for peanut butter and banana sandwiches? Just make sure to throw in some politics from time to time.
Videos are easy to make and upload. And once you do, it’s easy to share them on Facebook and LinkedIn. An interesting factoid to keep in mind: YouTube is used by men slightly more than women.
Beto O’Rourke knows how to use YouTube effectively.
This platform is aspirational, with feel-good content. Over 4 in 10 women use IG, compared to 38% of men who use the platform. Share memes of positivity and pictures of you smiling with voters, friends, kids and family. Try to post a couple times per week. Don’t “post and ghost” — spend 15 minutes after each posting to engage and interact with other users. That’s what the algorithm rewards.
But if you’re not already an “influencer,” Instagram is not necessarily your path to social dominance. The algorithm is set to keep you scrolling and in the app. Growth is difficult. But stay active, post selfies (so you’re recognizable), and feel free to speak directly to followers through IG stories.
And don’t forget: IG is about aspiration. Lift people up and educate.
AOC’s feed is an excellent example.
If you’re brave enough to attempt very simple video editing, jump into the TikToksphere! It’s rather untouched by politicos, so there’s plenty of room to make an impact. Focus on educating constituents (and know that they skew much younger). Consider the videos with pop-up information that lets people know how to vote by mail.
Go ahead and have fun with it. You could really stand out in a crowd of “Savage” dancers.
If Kamala Harris can have a TikTok account, so can you.