Using Social Media to Turn Viewers Into Voters
There are many different elements that play into how successful a political campaign can be. In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly popular to gain attention from varying groups of people via different paths in order to reach a more diverse audience.
Why is Social Media Important for Political Campaigns?
In today’s modern world surrounded by technology, the traditional forms of media may not always be the most effective when trying to reach certain groups of people. The younger generations, which are current and future voters, tend to receive most of their news and information via social media platforms. As time goes on, more and more people of all ages are moving more towards the digital world. It can be incredibly valuable for political candidates to have the ability to directly communicate with voters and constituents. Social media platforms make it easy politicians to connect with their voters and vice versa. Using social media is imperative for any campaign to successfully make a digital imprint.
Typically, it requires an exorbitant amount of money, resources, and connections to pull off a successful political campaign. With free and easy access of social media, connecting a political campaign with an audience has never been this easy to pull off. Social media is an excellent way to get the support of people and potentially turn viewers into voters. Social media platforms can be used to help raise money, as well as used to grow in popularity to gather more votes in your favor. While you should try to avoid overwhelming your supporters with bombarding them with donation requests, do not let it become a missed opportunity, either. The answer is always no until you try. Your activity on social media can either greatly benefit, or severely hurt your reputation. It is important to maintain a consistent and positive image on social media, as your reputation on the various platforms can affect your political campaign.
How to Use Social Media to Better Your Campaign
When all activities had to be brought inside, most people moved their activity online. Since most people are now participating on the web, social media is an incredible spot to gather support for a campaign during an election. Successful political candidates spend time focused on their digital profile and use online efforts to engage potential voters.
- Create Engaging Content
Making a political campaign personal is the key to truly connecting with your audience and creating a successful social media account. Find a way to share your human side, and really connect with your audience. People want to learn all there is to know about the candidates who are running for office. Make yourself available online so that the people can get to know who they may support. Sharing your story in a way that makes it seem as if you are talking to a friend is a great way to add that level of connection with the people. Try and avoid being too scripted, add your personality to every communication with your audience in order to engage them. Use photos and videos to showcase your personality. Facebook and Twitter posts that include a photo typically have higher ratings than posts without a photo. Videos are also an excellent way to grab the attention of the viewer and connect on a deeper level, quicker. Now, most of the major social media platforms allow for videos to be recorded and uploaded effortlessly and easily shared with potential voters. Videos are an amazing way to create a conversational post that makes viewers feel more connected to the candidate.
- Know Your Audience
Getting to know your audience is incredibly important for a successful political campaign. It is common for different audiences to be on different platforms. For example, the majority of users on Facebook are over the age of 35. On the other hand, the majority of users on TikTok are under the age of 35, creating two very different platforms with different demographics. Being aware of what the typical ages are of your target audience is an important step in learning how to create content specific to your desired audience. The strategies used to garner the support of the older generations may look a little different than the strategies used to gain the support of the younger generations.
- Use The Different Platforms Wisely
There are many different social media platforms, each with varying audiences. Not all social media platforms are created equally when it comes to marketing political candidates. Knowing which ones to use for your political campaign could significantly impact how much of an effect the information actually has on the viewers. The top three social media platforms used most often for political campaigns are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Knowing which platform to use for each type of message could prove to help your campaign greatly. Facebook for example, is a great platform for sharing larger amounts of information. Instagram is a great way to share your personal side as well as maintain your personal brand. Platforms like Twitter are great for quick thoughts and easily answering questions. Other social media platforms should not be forgotten though. More recently, TikTok has had a surge in politicians using the app to share short videos that create a quick and personal connection.
Things to Remember
Your activity online can either significantly help or hurt your reputation. Gaining and maintaining the trust of viewers is more important than ever for a political campaign. While in the past, political advertising has been a major player in a campaign, things are starting to change. Political advertising has become watered down with on-demand programming and has lost the trust of many. While the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) regulates truth in commercial advertising, the FCC does not do the same for political ads. Because of this, unregulated advertisements can sometimes have misinformation. Instead of getting mixed up in the murky waters of political advertising, instead, try to make genuine connections and show a more personal and human side of the candidate via social media. In the long run, this would prove to be more beneficial for the campaign and the candidate’s reputation.