Even the elderly woman in the
knew she should rely on technology when she fell and couldn’t get up.
It’s disparaging to have validation yet once again that an
apparent cosmic vortex continues to usurp the minds of many and
prohibit advancement. Today in one local online news outlet the story
is With social media, local politicians skeptical.
There are five compelling reasons a political candidate, just
like a candidate for any other job, would use social media that
immediately come to mind.
First, it provides reach otherwise unattainable. Think of the
people you missed being able to have a pierogi with at that bazaar or
those babies you weren’t able to kiss. How much would it cost in
mainstream media buys to reach everyone you couldn’t shake hands with
Second, it shows constituents you understand how to communicate
in today’s digital world. A large segment of the voting
population want a leader who is modern and isn’t
Flintstonesque (that includes me by the way). I stopped buying news in
print years ago so if that’s where you are I’m not seeing you. A
diversified strategy to reach as many people as possible means
more votes. Some are here, some are there, you need to be everywhere…
Third, it provides an additional and very effective real time
method to measure public opinion. The analytics available should
be very attractive to someone running a campaign — if they care
about public opinion. It allows you to be in charge of tweaking
message. Not seeing enough response from a particular
constituency? Engage them purposefully with content important to
them and then measure the result to ensure you have persuaded them and
they support you.
Fourth, the fact is that social media is “media”. It’s independent
media that is 100% controlled by the content creator and provides
immediate access to constituents. If I were a candidate I would be
working diligently with my campaign manager to drive my message to
as widespread an audience as possible, not crossing my fingers
waiting for coverage by traditional media with little or no
control over content or frequency.
Last but not least, it’s FREE. Regardless of one’s political party
persuasion, the value of social media in the last presidential
campaign can hardly be denied. On a smaller local level it can be
emulated through the use of social media on a $0. budget. It would be
great if the public didn’t have to dole out money to elect a good
local leader, wouldn’t it? I know I would respect one who figured out
how to serve before solicit.
Social media campaigns can be executed anywhere there’s a zip
code, so even a mayoral candidate in a small town can do it.
Candidates for large major elections have a campaign manager savvy
enough to hire someone with social media campaign management
experience. Politicians running local campaigns don’t need live
CNN.com streamed townhall meetings linked to Facebook chats to
effectively engage. Candidates for small elections should enlist the
help of someone with a history of using social media successfully
for marketing to get set up and take a lesson from them on how to
navigate and update.
A good campaign manager helps with the time management aspect of
daily updates, which in all reality need not take more than 15 minutes
to be effective once the profiles are set up (though personally, I
would have a very robust social media campaign with a dedicated
manager/volunteer if it were mine).
I respect public officials who promote and engage in open
communication, even if it is managed by a staffer. If I were an
elected leader I would give mainstream media plenty of competition
by continuing to use it post election to manage my
communication with constituents.
If you were running for public office would you use social media?
Do you follow an elected public official who social media in an