Perhaps you’ve seen Facebook ads or tweets for the current politicians interested in running for President in 2012. The prevalence of social media in political campaigns has redefined our democracy in the U.S.. The quick speed of the Internet, particularly social media, allows running candidates to reach supporters and garner votes for Election Day.
Online advertising for politicians doesn’t have to stay at the national level however; it can be used locally as well. Online advertising for politicians should center on gathering volunteers to execute campaign activities and ultimately win votes. So how can you, the local politician, use social media to stand out? Here are three strategies on how social media can boost your political campaign:
1) Create an Open Forum Displaying Your Vision and the Entire Experience – If you want to gain the support of the local community, you have to be ready to share your main ideas and objectives if you were to be selected. How will people know you and choose you if you don’t reveal your plans for the future? Moreover, if you’re seeking to recruit campaign volunteers, have your already existing volunteers post interesting photos and videos of recent activities they have been a part of. When people can visualize an experience and see for it themselves, they are more likely to get involved, too.
Here’s a post from Ron Paul’s Facebook page.
2) Involve Your Fans and Followers with Active Discussion – Like all types of social media campaigns, success comes from continuously communicating with your audience. This builds credibility to you as a candidate and your campaign. When people feel more connected to you as an actual human being, then they are probably going to continue to show support online and offline. For example, you could host a live questions and answers (Q&A) session with your fan base every Wednesday each week at 5 P.M. on Facebook. This may be a better time than say 10 A.M. when people are at work.
3) Organize Your Digital Fan Base Into Real Volunteers – To build your groups of real volunteers, you first need to determine where your supporters reside. With particular Twitter tools, you can find potential volunteers based on what they mention in their tweets. For instance, you can track whenever a person references your name on Twitter, and then request to follow them afterward. You could even track when a person mentions any Republican or Democratic candidate in your state and follow the same process. The worse thing that could happen is the person may not follow you back, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Once you have organized your prospective volunteers, you can setup a meet and greet where the volunteers can meet in person. At this event, everyone can brainstorm ways to support your campaign, possibly through a voter registration drive.
In essence, social media can bring your political campaign to life and help you reach local supporters in your state to participate in your campaign functions and rock the vote come Election Day. Good luck!
Have you started to explore social media for your political campaign? If so, which strategy above is most important to you?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1.4 million in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
For more ways to use social media in your political campaign, check out