The social media presence within the political realm has had ups and downs in the past few years. For example, revealing scandals involving former U.S. Representatives or celebratory tweets of “Four more years.” Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms can either boost your image or destroy it. In order to receive the best results on social media, there are certain steps you can take.
The first and most important step to take is building an audience. Establish a following of those who believe in the same issues or those you can persuade or influence – every vote matters. Once you establish your online community, it is easier to connect with people and keep your audience growing.
The next step is to engage in conversations with followers by asking questions, responding to feedback, or even participating in live online town hall meetings. Find out what social media users would like to see from candidates this year or what issues truly matter to them. It is important to respond to feedback with a thank you and facts behind your position on the issues. Even with negative comments, there should be a response. Calm, concise, and fact-based answers will keep the conversation positive. It is important to keep in mind that responses will not always change the naysayers minds or their outspoken tweets or Facebook messages, so limit responses to one or two responses to those specific users.
Live tweeting can also help boost your image because it provides an opportunity to have real-time conversations with followers and show that you have a sincere interest in what constituents have to say. Many celebrities communicate with their fans this way and it could be the next big thing for politicians – as many have already showcased.
Social media offers constituents an opportunity to voice concerns or priorities and provides those running for public office a platform to distribute important and timely information faster than ever before. Creating a social media presence will also show constituents that you are relatable, dependable, and transparent – creating and building trust by being open and honest by providing relevant information. Not only will it build a better bond with your audience, but it will also create the opportunity to build more bonds with people within your constituents’ networks.
The social media universe is also a great place to share news and information about your community – whether it is a local feel good story, news about the local prep sports teams, or a new business – it’s a great way to showcase and promote your community.