Candidates need social media strategies to win
The social media landscape is constantly shifting, opening up new avenues for brands to engage with their audience. These innovations apply to political campaigns as well, who must harness the best social media has to offer to engage potential voters. From new formats to powerful data-driven solutions, it’s never been a better time for political candidates to log on and interact. Here are a few creative ways campaigns can use social media to connect with voters:
Embrace new formats
Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are rolling out new ways to share information on a regular basis. From entertaining Facebook livestreams to lengthy Twitter threads, candidates are turning to new formats to deliver engaging content. The best part? Many of these features are easy to use, accessible to a wide audience, and populated with many of the young voters candidates are always courting. In the vein of President Roosevelt’s fireside chats — which used radio to spread his political message to a diverse, working-class population — social media breaks down social and financial barriers to spread messages to anyone with an internet connection. Furthermore, features like Instagram Q&As enable two-way interaction with voters so that they can speak directly with candidates and have their voices heard.
It’s just reality: running an effective campaign is about more than just laying out a platform that resonates with voters. After all, candidates are more than just their policy positions — they’re people with fascinating, relatable personal lives. They have families, hobbies, and personalities that might have been previously unknown before social media took center stage. Logging onto Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is a great chance to let down the “serious politician posture” and give a transparent view into a candidate’s everyday life. More and more politicians are using social media to show who they really are, creating an intimate back and forth between voters and candidates. By doing this, candidates become more than just an official who works on legislation — they became a person followers want to let into their lives and learn more about.
Using data-driven insights to reach your audience
One of the more game-changing aspects of the 2016 election was the use of Lookalike audiences — a Facebook feature that helps campaigns reach users that are “similar” to the audiences that have already engaged with your ads. If your potential voter has a certain profile — in terms of demographics, their interests, etc. — you can use Lookalike audiences to find more potential voters that “look like” them. This way, you can ensure you’re reaching all of your potential voters and delivering relevant, compelling advertising to them.
Always evaluate audience engagement
To make sure the content you’re posting striking a chord, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the reaction to your posts and ads. How are your posts performing? What sort of conversation is developing around these posts? Is the conversation negative or positive? Are you getting the level of engagement you hoped for? While many of these questions can be answered by simply looking at the comments and replies, you might want to use analytics tools to get deeper insights. These tools can also give you more information about how your competitors’ social strategies are working and where overlaps exist between the people engaging with your social content and with another campaign’s social content.
The capabilities of social media are evolving on a near-daily basis. They open up new avenues for communication and make it easier to catch the attention of followers. To create a truly powerful digital strategy, a campaign needs to take advantage of the creative, innovative methods one can use to connect with voters.