Spring is finally here! Days are getting longer, and for many it’s time for cleaning. If you are running for office, now is a great time to do a review of your campaign social media accounts.
Here are some tips to get your new or existing social media profiles in shape for primary or election season. These tips apply to both campaign and personal accounts.
Update your campaign profile account information
When was the last time you updated your social media profiles? Bios and profiles are often filled in when an account is created and then forgotten. Is all the information up to date? Are all the relevant fields completely filled in, including a link to your political campaign website?
You may be surprised at the amount of information that is incomplete or out-of-date.
Check your profile images
Others get their first impression of your through your profile (or avatar) image. Make sure that it is up to date and professional. If you are using a head shot for person profiles, make sure the image looks professional. Use proper lighting and positioning. (You don’t want it to look like a mug shot.) Don’t crop your picture from a group photo use a low-res image. Consider hiring a professional photographer.
Start using photos and video more
Campaign photos and video get attention. Adding photos to your Facebook and Twitter posts can help them get noticed and be seen by more people. You’re more likely to have a post shared if it includes an image. While it may take a little work to add images, it’s worth the effort.
Just make sure that you own or have properly licensed any images or video that you use!
Use a scheduling tool for your social media posts
While posting to social media manually provides the most control, consider adding a scheduling tool to help. Services such as Buffer or Hootsuite enable you to write posts and share them across multiple services. You can schedule posts for specific times. This makes it convenient to post a series of event reminders and get out the vote notices ahead of time.
Ditch the dead weight from your accounts
It’s better to never started a social media account than to start one and let it become neglected. If you have an account that you have not updated in a while, now is the time to either get back in the game or shut the account down.
The problem with abandoned profiles is that people who come across abandoned accounts may just assume the campaign is over – or follow the account and never get follow-up posts.
If you shut down your social media accounts, make a final post explaining that you are not posting anymore. You may want to suggest other ways followers can keep in touch. Then remove any links to those shuttered accounts from your website or other social media profiles.
You need a thick skin to be online. Candidates are certain to encounter comments disparaging them and their campaign on social media posts and tweets.
The most natural instinct is to strike back negatively. In the end, though, it’s better to take the high road and actively protect your reputation. Fight back against false rumors and information.
Have a plan in place for dealing with negative material. If there is negative material that happens to be true, be prepared to address it directly. Then return focus to the issues that are important to your voters.
How you respond to both large and small crises will define you and your leadership skills to voters.
For more tips and ideas for political online campaigning, subscribe to our email list below and check out our book Running for Office as an Online Candidate.
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