Politics in Social Media
With just a few months to go before the US 2020 presidential election, social media is abuzz with political commentaries in the form of memes, tweets, comments, and hashtags.
Social media is today’s public forum, and politicians know this too well. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among other social platforms, politicians can now interact with their constituents directly.
Unfortunately, infusing politics in social media is no mean feat, as such social platforms have their own rules of interaction and communication. Many politicians may also need organic growth services such as Instagram SimplyGram service to help them grow their accounts due to their busy schedules.
If you’re a politician intending to use social media for your political campaign or you’re in charge of managing a public political online account, here are a few tips that can help you harness the power of social media for a successful campaign.
1. Get Your Social Media Campaign Verified
Verifying your official campaign account is the first thing you need to do before launching your campaign on social media.
Verification helps to provide authenticity and transparency to your audience. This is particularly important if you intend to place social media ads or funds appeals for your campaign. Besides, it will help users distinguish your official account from fake accounts.
2. Have a Different Account for Your Political Campaign
You should keep your personal and official social media accounts separate. Make sure there is a clear distinction between these two accounts, as what you post on your individual account may not reflect well for your campaign.
In one instance, President Trump did face a lawsuit from a few citizens because he blocked them from his Twitter account. In his defense, the president claimed that the Twitter account was his personal account. But the federal district court disagreed and ruled in favor of the citizens, noting that blocking them was against their first amendment rights. The court pointed out that the account had been registered to the 45th president of the US, and it had been used for official political posts making it a public account.
Remember, some social platforms such as Facebook don’t allow you to have two official accounts. The best thing you can do is have a personal profile and a page for your campaign.
3. Post Responsibly
A report from the Pew Research Center indicates that 55% of adult Americans get the latest news from social media. Official profiles of politicians are some of the notable sources of political communication, which is why you need to post responsibly.
Always fact-check before you comment, tweet, or make statements on social media. Misinformation can travel fast, and you’ll have a hard time trying to apologize for false claims. Besides, once your tweet or comment goes public, the internet never forgets. Such remarks can also be used against you to ruin your political career.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Videos
Short social media videos are a great way to communicate with your supporters. Video content can be used in channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also create a YouTube channel where you can share videos from your campaign tour.
Live videos are also becoming a popular politicking tool. According to Livestream, about 82% of viewers prefer to watch a live stream than read a social media post.
Reasons, why videos are preferred for political campaigns, include:
- They are perfect for answering questions and conversing with supporters in real-time
- Videos make the conversations more personal
- They allow local politicians to address issues that may not be receiving media coverage
- Live videos are an inexpensive way to engage with supporters
5. Don’t Forget to Engage Supporters on Instagram and Other New Social Platforms
Most politicians use Facebook and Twitter for their online campaigns. This makes perfect sense as Facebook is the second most popular social media platform among adults after YouTube. Twitter, on the other hand, is the preferred platform for sharing news.
However, even as you take advantage of these two social platforms, it’s also good to consider other newer platforms. For instance, Instagram can help you share your campaign story by use of pictures or live videos. The app is also very popular with millennials and can help you reach this target audience. If you’re struggling to grow your campaign on Instagram, you can always seek a SimplyGram service to help you grow your followers and engage with your existing supporters.
Other newer social sites you should consider include:
- Instagram Reels
6. Engage With Your Followers Using Questions and Answers
Posing questions to your followers is an excellent way to engage with them. It also shows that you’re interested in their opinions. Responses provided by followers on your posted questions also give you an idea of the issues your supporters would like you to tackle.
Creating a Twitter poll is one way to use questions to increase engagement. The Instagram story also has a question sticker feature that allows you to check queries responses privately and choose the ones you can share with others.
7. Deal With Trolls
Not everyone will agree with your political sentiments on social media. It would be best if you learned to differentiate between people who aren’t in support of your campaign and trolls. If someone asks a thoughtful question that you might disagree with, try to answer them constructively.
However, when it comes to trolls, the best thing you can do is to ignore them. You can also report such trolls or block the person. If online bullying becomes too much, you can always inform the police.
Politics have evolved due to technology. Figuring out how to make use of social media is crucial for the success of your political campaign. The above tips will help you make the best of social media as a political tool.