By now, you’ve realized that if you don’t have an online presence your campaign is in serious trouble. This year, smartphone users have expanded to include 67% of the U.S. population. An incomprehensible amount of information is at the fingertips of the three out of four Americans who own a computer.
The stats say it all: the Internet has become the biggest forum for discussion available. With an online presence you could be a powerful part of that discussion. Without a strong presence you’re going to be left behind. Here are three social media tips that you, as a candidate, can apply to lay the foundation for a killer online digital campaign:
Publish often. And enjoy it.
This can be the time to really enjoy getting involved in the discussion. Almost everyone with a strong opinion will want to express it. If you let your accounts lag behind, you’re sending out an image that you can’t keep up. If, however, you step up to the plate, you’ll prove that you can keep up with the trends while pushing your ideas forward. People will want to follow someone who can keep up. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Here’s the key: select at least one person to drive your social media campaign. The intern who publishes whatever you shoot to him or her isn’t going to cut it. While you should produce original content as much as you can, appoint a digital specialist early on in the campaign.
Post with purpose.
In order to become a powerful part of the conversation (and truly augment your offline campaign), make sure you’re touching on the issues people care about – and are already talking about – instead of a copy/paste from your to-do list. Yes, tweet links to press releases and endorsements, as well as updates on your campaign website and blogs, but don’t stop there. Comment on national and local news, and include pictures of your events, yourself, and your supporters.
Get ideas from other candidates who are doing a good job online. On many popular accounts, you’ll see replies, retweets, mentions, hashtags, and shout-outs. Remember that being relevant always means involving your audience. On Twitter, follow other accounts. Don’t even be “that guy” who prides himself in Twitter account with 10,000 followers while he follows none. He’s missed the point of social media. Pursue engagement and invite feedback.
Check your work.
There is no magic formula to a successful social media campaign. But there are formulas that you’ll discover work for you. Know your data and make sure that you’re doing the right work. For instance, posts tend to be shared and liked more on weekends than throughout the week. Blogs, on the other hand, often have the most viewers early in the morning. Always know what’s working and what’s not working. Use a program that tracks your reach (such as BufferApp.com or ManageFlitter.com).
Staying on top of analytics will help you know who’s following what, the posts that people are actually reading, pages that your audience clicks through on your site, keywords that they respond to, etc. With this information you will be able to tailor the words that you use and the information that you put out in order to reach as many people as possible, resulting in new supporters.