What do eggs have to do with Facebook?
On January 11, Facebook’s announcement of changes to the NewsFeed sent shockwaves through the digital marketing community. As CyberClimb said immediately after the announcement, this won’t be Facebook’s only alteration to their platform, but no one is better able to use the role of Facebook as the modern town square soapbox than politicians. Additionally, good content and authentic interactions will favor the candidate or business in engaging their followers.
One other take away from the Facebook announcement is the importance of building an audience on multiple platforms. Just like a grandma used to say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Grandma was right; she just didn’t know she was talking about digital media strategy.
While the analytics of targeted strategy show that Facebook will be an essential piece of a digital approach, it is not the only piece.
What are the digital options a candidate should consider:
1. Website. It is the foundation of any digital strategy. The good news is that the websites don’t have to be complicated. A candidate website can be less than five separate pages — while it could be tempting to load up the home page with everything, it’s not a good idea. Overwhelming a visitor can be the quickest way to have them bounce off the page.
2. Facebook. As we’ve covered, Facebook is still most people are checking into, getting their news and sharing their thoughts. For a candidate, it’s important to be part of those conversations. People curious about a candidate are going to check them out by checking for a webpage and checking for a Facebook page.
3. Twitter. We all know one of Twitter’s biggest users. The way our President uses Twitter - whether you agree with him or not — gets a conversation going. While Twitter is not used as much in the Midwest as it is on the coasts, it can be an excellent option for a candidate intimidated by the thought of producing a more extended form blog. The bite-size posts on Twitter can quickly relay an opinion or be a place to share a news story.
4. Instagram. The platform based solely on pictures, images, and videos. Visuals are an essential part of getting attention on social media. Instagram can be a natural extension of those efforts with a platform designed to be all about the image.
5. Email. This list isn’t in order of importance. If it were, email would probably come in second and only because a website is pretty essential for building an email list. An email list belongs to the candidate and is not dependent on the whims of a company’s decisions to change their algorithm.
See our blog from January 30, for fundamentals on email’s uses for a candidate.
Again, while the majority of people are using Facebook, increasingly Millennials are using other platforms to communicate with others and get their news. The Millennials don’t depend on traditional media sources like television, newspaper or radio like their parents and grandparents. So using the same campaign funding formulas on conventional media won’t be useful reaching a significant segment of voters.
There are many benefits for a candidate to use multiple methods and social platforms to communicate with current and potential supporters.
--Increase the reach — Using social platforms in addition to Facebook gives a candidate an opportunity to build relationships with supporters that might have been missed on Facebook or through email.
--Support the message — Repetition works. Repetition works. The platforms have their unique personality, and while it’s necessary to tailor messages to the platform, it doesn’t have to be entirely different content. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
--To build an authentic presence, while messages are targeted to a specific audience, it should be consistent with a candidate’s other communication. It’s just the style that varies, not the ideals.
--Better service — Constituents will remember how easy it was to communicate an opinion or concern come Election Day. Building a reliable communication strategy helps foster the relationship between legislator and constituent.
--More control — Let’s go back to Grandma and her egg baskets, having multiple channels to communicate means that when Facebook makes changes, a candidate doesn’t have to go back to the drawing board because they already have plan B in place.
--Higher rank — Being on multiple platforms has the additional benefit of ranking higher in Google search results meaning a candidate and their positions are more simple for Voters to find.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Candidates don’t handle their own ad buy on television and radio, they work with a media consultant. Likewise, a digital strategist can be a vital member of a candidates team.
If you want to learn more about using digital marketing as a critical part of your campaign strategy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or check our website at www.cyberclimb.com to explore the possibilities. The first strategy session is free.