Slowly but surely, most Republican campaigns I am meeting with are starting to understand how important is for a campaign to get involved with social media outreach and advertising. Most of these campaigns often tell me they are overwhelmed and need help, and they know that our teams here at Red Digital Media are here to help. But, if you’re one of those campaigns who does not yet have the budget to hire us to manage your campaigns online presence, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe we can help you organize your social media voter outreach efforts.
Every Campaign Needs to Start with the – “Why?”
Many campaigns get into social media because they feel that they must. Oftentimes campaigns participate on social networks in a way that turns off voters or worse scares voters away. We are here to get you to stop and think. Now is a great time to place some thought into how your campaign is involved in the social networks. Having clarity in the “Why” is the first step in getting yourself organized and on track. Here are a few ideas to help you answer the question.
- Are you involved with social media to raise much needed campaign funds?
- Do you collect followers, connections, and Likes solely so you can have more friends than your opponent?
- Do you really want to engage voter and donors that you’ve connected with, or do you just want to promote campaign press release and activities all of the time?
- Did you join a particular social network just because your opponent is on it…?”
- Are you prepared to put in the time and hours necessary to accomplish your fundraising, recruit new voters, and recruit volunteers?
The answers to these questions are important and will help you form your campaign’s social media donor and outreach strategy.
Know this: Republican campaigns, wanting to succeed in the digital world as it is today, must WANT to socially connect with voters. You must WANT to socially connect with your current donors and volunteers throughout your district if you want to WIN. These social media contacts are the people who will help your campaign raise much needed campaign dollars, recruit new volunteers and win over undecided voters on Election Day. .
Now, when we say “connect,” we mean really engaging in conversations with real voters and donors instead of having the 17 year old teenage republican pummeling your social network with post that end up in your opponents television commercials. If your campaign does not have a strategy just like you do for your direct mail or TV campaigns then you should just logout and sign off.
Your campaigns post must be current and MUST add value to people’s lives on a regular basis with your posts. We mean working hard to build lasting online relationships with your connections so they trust and respect you.
If you don’t consistently provide your social connections with valuable content your campaign will be forgotten. If your campaign over does it and post too much voters will get irritated and stop following you. The key to a successful social media strategy is the same key to a happy and healthy life: Balance.
Whether you are a state representative campaign or a congressional campaign your commitment to social networking should be consistent, compelling and engaging. Every social community is a fickle one. They will follow a campaign that is consistent, compelling and engaging, but once you slip up, they’re gone, never to return.
Developing a social networking schedule your campaign can handle, must also keep you accountable. Again, the goal is consistency. Write your plan and then you must follow the schedule. Stick with your schedule for an entire month. At the end of the month, stop and evaluate your campaigns efforts to determine if you are still on goal. Do you need to tweak the schedule? Do you need to get involved in networks that are more social or less? Are your fundraising goals being met? What is your voter reach? Is your campaign targeting Facebook users by zip codes?
Here’s a sample social media campaign schedule we provide only to stimulate discussion. Use this schedule to generate ideas that will help you create your own schedule to meet your campaign needs and the needs of your social communities, accomplish your fundraising goals.
Two times a day
- Check your Twitter feed. Reply when required and check the keywords you are listening for. Join a conversation or two.
- Check your LinkedIn profile and visit some of the Groups you are in. Engage with your LinkedIn network in some way twice a day, every day.
- Check your Facebook Page and post something of value or respond to comments.
- Check your Google Alerts for information on your competitors and mentions of your own brand.
Once A Week
- Work on Twitter and Facebook Lists to be better organized and so you are able to send targeted messages to voters when appropriate.
- Really spend some time in LinkedIn Answers and discussions in the Groups your campaign belongs to.
- Schedule tweets and status updates for the next week so you are consistently providing your connections with valuable campaign information.
- Spend some time building relationships with other influencers.
- Keep up to date on new products and social tools that will increase your campaigns efficiency and reach.
During the Week
Schedule tweets and status updates to provide meaningful content in addition to the content you scheduled in your once a week social media strategy sessions. This information may be more timely and less generic then the other things you scheduled.
Mondays and Wednesdays
Get involved in a specific political conversation on Twitter.
Respond to blog comments on your blog and leave a comment or two on another blog. Remember what I said about building voter trust and credibility!
Check on the things you’ve been listening to. This would also be a good day to take a look at your analytics and analyze your website and blog traffic for the week.