Social Media: Connecting, Not Broadcasting

Are you actually taking advantage of the social part of social media? It’s not uncommon to see political campaigns using Facebook or Twitter as just another broadcast medium: talking AT people instead of conversing WITH them. Campaigns use social media as an outlet for their press releases and wonder why nobody ever Likes, shares, or comments on their posts.

If you want to distribute a press release, email it to your media list. If you’re rolling out a 50-point policy plan, build out a dedicated website.

Social media offers you something different as an opportunity to freely interact with voters and activists. Use it to engage with your volunteers, highlighting their successes and thanking them for their efforts. Answer the (sane) questions that appear in your posts. Engage in topics that have otherwise little to do with politics such as supporting a local sports team or charity fundraiser. You can be creative without being off-message.

All of this direct engagement pays dividends in the form of good will from your followers. With this engaged audience, you have one more avenue for pulling in volunteers and donors. For cheap!

You get as much out of social media as you put into it, and if all you’re putting into it is the output of your Comms department, you need to rethink your social strategy.

Thomas Roberts is the Digital Engagement Manager for The Prosper Group. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @thomasjpr.

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