Cable TV is no longer the most powerful marketing medium for political candidates. While approximately 56% of Americans still watch satellite or cable TV, a staggering 90% of the U.S. population actively uses social media. That translates to about 302 million Americans.
There is no question that social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with constituents, share information about important political issues, and mobilize voters. However, to make the most of social media campaigning efforts and gain an edge over your political opponents, you need a holistic strategy in place.
With that in mind, here are some best practices for how you should leverage social media in your political campaign in 2023.
Pick Your Platforms
Before you can start creating content or engaging with voters, you must first decide which platforms to leverage. While it may be tempting to use all the major platforms, doing so could stretch your team too thin and overtax your campaigning resources. Therefore, you should research your target audience and identify which platforms are most popular among them.
Generally, every political campaign should use the “big three” platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Based on your research, you may also decide to use one or two supplemental platforms, such as TikTok or Snapchat.
Create and Optimize Public Pages
After you have picked your platforms, you need to set up campaign pages. These pages should be dedicated to the political campaign and optimized to provide a seamless experience for followers.
When setting up your pages, make sure they are set as “public”. This will maximize visibility and ensure that anyone can interact with your content. Link each public page to your campaign’s website, as well as your other social media platforms.
Getting verified is an easy way to build trust with followers and demonstrate that your page is legitimate. Obtaining a verified status not only builds trust but also allows you to run paid political ads.
Some social media channels now require you to pay for verification. Fortunately, the verification charge is very low, meaning it won’t cut into your campaign’s advertising resources.
Build and Express Your Brand
Every political campaign needs a brand, tone of voice, mission, and vision. As you build your social media pages, work on creating a unique brand that appeals to voters and encourages them to support your candidate.
When it comes to branding your political campaign, consistency is key. While you must tailor content to align with the unique format of each platform, the tone and style should align across all channels.
Be Active and Consistent
Speaking of consistency, it is vital that you are active on your social media pages and post content on a regular basis. Regularly publishing fresh new content will help improve your page visibility and encourage users to engage with your posts.
However, it is important not to become too rigid. For instance, if you always post new content on Fridays at 6 p.m., it will appear that your page is automated. Mix it up and post on different days and times. Doing so will make your page seem more authentic and help you reach constituents who are active at different times of the day.
Engage with Followers and Commenters
Engaging with followers and commenters is an excellent way to build trust with constituents and further demonstrate your candidate’s authenticity.
With that being said, whoever is in charge of the social media accounts must be careful not to take an adversarial approach when responding to negative comments. Instead, any negative posts should either be ignored or addressed with a nuanced, fact-centered response.
Make sure that all posts and responses are on brand. However, shy away from being too scripted. Integrate a personal touch into comment responses so followers know a real person is on the other end of the channel.
Use Videos Frequently
Videos and photos can captivate social media users and disrupt their seemingly endless scrolling. For instance, you can include a photograph of your candidate standing in front of a national monument or post a short video clip from one of their recent public speaking engagements.
Most platforms offer several ways to post your videos. For instance, Facebook and Instagram allow you to publish videos directly to your campaign’s page. Alternatively, you can post videos as “stories” or “reels.” Mix it up and use several different publishing methods to maximize the reach of your video content.
Live streaming on a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook is a unique way to draw more attention to your page. Your candidate can start a live stream while they are at a campaign event or commuting to a debate. These live streams give followers a “behind the scenes” look at the political process and demonstrate the candidate’s authenticity.
Going live is also a great way to host digital town halls. During these events, your candidate can field questions, share their views on important topics, and interact with followers in a unique way.
Support Your Social Media Strategy with Aristotle
As an award-winning political data provider, Aristotle connects clients with the data analysis tools and raw insights they need to achieve their campaign goals. Our core data includes a National Consumer File with over 250 million consumer files and a National Voter File with more than 235 million records.
If you would like to learn more about Aristotle’s extensive database and its data mining tools, schedule your demo today.