Good communication with the people you are going to ask to vote for your is essential.
The good news is that social media makes this task a whole lot easier than it was even ten years ago. Whereas you might have had to be delivering newsletters through peoples doors regularly at that stage, you can do so much more with social media than you could then.
Before I say any more about the positives, we have to recognise the negative impressions that we have of social media and why.
Chances are that you might not want to use Social Media at all, because you have heard of things like Twitter trolls, fake news and all sorts of other problems that come with using services like Facebook and Twitter.
The news makes using these free services sound very risky if not bad, and there is always a risk that you will have a bad experience in some way.
The upside outweighs the downside however, and if you stick to a few clear rules about what you post or publish yourself, what material you republish as something you like or repost – which can be taken by some as a recommendation by others – even if you didn’t mean it to be, then you can be reasonably safe most of the time.
We have all heard the jokes and horror stories about people publishing posts about their underwear, what they ate for breakfast or when they went to the toilet. Yes, some people want to share their entire lives with the online world, but there are no rules saying that you have to do that, and to be a good political communicator, all you need to do is publish material which is going to attract your voters, keep them interested and better still, make them want to get involved.
Some basic rules for social media:
- Have a separate account or accounts for your political work and campaigning – voters will recognise you as being your role in the community and will not find value in hearing about your day-to-day activities as a normal person!
- Never publish material that you cannot be sure to be accurate or true – unless you make clear that is your position. If you there is any possibility that you could be linked with material which is potentially untrue or misleading by publishing a link – DON’T!
- Never attack anyone personally in any way. Politics is actually about the work of politicians and the results of what they do – not about the people who do it, who are just as human as you (even when they don’t act like it!). Always remember the mantra ‘play the ball, not the man’ and you will be fine.
- Never take comments made by anyone personally. Once you start publishing as campaigner, activist or candidate, there will be people out there who just want to disagree with you simply because of what you do. Take it as a compliment and bear in mind that they wouldn’t be attacking you if they didn’t feel the work you are doing is a risk to what they themselves do!
- When you do feel you are justified in criticising something, focus on what is wrong and explain why it is wrong.
- Use facts to back your arguments whenever you can
- Focus your material on action
- Do not make promises you cannot keep.
- Be aspirational but keep it real – Talk about your vision for something better, but acknowledge the obstacles at the same time
- Be positive
- Avoid gossip and hearsay
- Always report threatening behaviour to an appropriate authority – as if you follow the rules above, you will not have anything you need to apologise for.
- ALWAYS REMEMBER that as soon as you publish something online or to the Internet, it is likely to remain ‘out there’ in some way for good. Even if you delete something, it is possible that someone, somewhere will have kept a copy. There are accounts which specialise in publishing deleted Tweets and Social Media entries. It’s always best to avoid publishing something which has the potential to embarrass you later, rather than being embarrassed by something before you accept that this is true.
Social Media options:
There are a range of Social Media options for you to use. I am going to focus on the ones that are more mainstream. That’s the ones which are more likely to reach the people who are likely to vote for you, or support you in some other way.
My best advice and suggestion would be to use all of them. That way, you will access a wider audience and find that they compliment each other.
Please follow the links to find out more.