In a tight race, you are always trying to get the edge over your opponent. One way to stand out is to combine offline campaign tactics with online ones. When field and the campaign’s web team are working together, great things happen. Campaigns can even leverage the humble yard sign to connect with voters.
Run a Contest on Facebook
Contests are a proven method to increase engagement on social networks. It is easy to set up a contest using campaign yard signs. Here is the basic process:
- A contestant takes a picture of the candidate’s sign on their lawn
- The contestant inserts the picture on your fan page. Be sure that your page’s settings let fans insert pictures. A variant on this contestant would be to ask contestants to upload a photo and tag the candidate. It’s important to note, however, that users can only tag personal pages.
- At random, choose one of the photos and offer a prize such as a complimentary admission to a high dollar fundraiser or to “star” in the next commercial or radio spot.
- Finally, follow up. Send an email announcing the winner and plug the fundraiser that the contestant won a complimentary ticket too!
A contest like this will increase the candidate’s exposure online because the campaign’s yard sign will show up on many walls and news feeds. Unlike many pictures of the candidate or events on the campaign trail, a voter gets a clear message of who the candidate is and what office he or she is running for when they see a yard sign online.
Will Tweet for Yard Sign
A lot of campaigns are announcing that their yard signs are available on Twitter. This is a great opportunity to get some valuable mentions. Instead of just announcing that yard signs are available, tell your followers that there are a limited quantity of signs, the campaign expects them to go quickly, and that they can reserve a campaign yard sign by tweeting why they are voting for the candidate and mentioning the campaign’s Twitter account. It’s a small price to pay to ensure that they are going to receive a yard sign and will result in a number of supporters tweeting to their followers why they are supporting your candidacy.
Experimenting with Hashtags, Like “Buttons,” and QR Codes
The best campaign sign designs aren’t cluttered. Great signs generally only include the candidate name and office the candidate is seeking but it’s okay to add some graphics so long as they don’t detract from the candidate name and office sought.
For example, consider using a yard sign to promote a Twitter hashtag. Simply put a pound sign before the candidate’s name on the sign and Twitter users will understand that when referencing your campaign they can use that hashtag.
Likewise, consider putting a like ‘button’ on the yard sign so that voters know that they can connect with you using Facebook. It worked for Victoria’s Secret limited edition “you like this” panty, why can’t it work for your campaign?
Finally, candidates in residential districts might consider using a QR code on their campaign sign. A voter with a smartphone, like the iPhone or an Android phone, could scan the QR code and be directed to the campaign’s website. QR codes were once popular, then fell out of usage, and have recently become popular again for marketers of all types.
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This is just scratching the surface for ways you can integrate your online and offline organizing to get the edge over your opponent. While this post offers a number of ways that campaigns can connect yard signs with technology, you should get creative to integrate all forms of traditional campaigning with the web.« Tracking Your Campaign Video Success
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