All potential candidates can agree on one thing: constituents are the most important part of any campaign. All campaigns and causes benefit from time spent out in the real world talking to potential supporters, and doing the same thing digitally matters.
Being proactive with your social channels’ community management is one of the most important elements of any digital strategy. Ignoring commentary and messaging is a surefire way to brand yourself as a candidate who doesn’t care. Don’t be that candidate. Follow our steps below to cultivate a robust communication tactic when it comes to your social media.
Don’t Ignore Messages
Today, ignoring someone’s message is easy. We’re all guilty of pretending we didn’t read a text when we did. But when it comes to your supporters, ignoring a message is a no-no.
If you read a constituent’s message on Facebook or Twitter and leave the read stamp on, you need to respond. Ignoring a constituent’s question can sour the connection and paint the candidate as careless. Even though responding to multiple messages may seem cumbersome, answering a constituent goes a long way. Make potential voters feel heard by handing over the proverbial mic once in awhile.
Being personable on social channels matters. Formulaic and automated responses are visible from a mile away. Thoughtfully responding to an answer pays off, and this kind of interaction adds to digital’s ROI as a form of “customer service.” Genuinely responding to a constituent’s message shows a candidate is willing to make time for people, online and off.
Similarly, not all messages and comments on social will be positive. There will always be naysayers looking to start a war of words that other supporters can see. This is okay and it’s expected. Situations like this can go two ways: either you respond professionally or don’t respond at all.
Let’s say John Smith leaves a comment on your Facebook wall claiming your interest in increasing local taxes to pay for a new library is going to cost too much money. Maybe John claims you don’t care about your town’s citizens and that your campaign policies are reckless and not well thought-out. Rather than trying to correct John or change his mind, this scenario would benefit from a personalized, neutral response. Invite John to send a private message to further discuss his concerns. Ask John if he feels comfortable sending you his email address so that you can connect further. It would even be beneficial to invite John to call your office to talk on the phone. All of these actions send a message that the constituent matters. Making time for constituents shows that candidates earn votes, rather than expecting them.
A candidate’s digital presence should always go two ways. Committing to sending your message out to the digital sphere is important, but so is starting a conversation with the people who matter. No digital presence should not be a monologue, but a conversation where voters’ thoughts have just as much significance as the candidate’s own.
Beware of Trolls
Trolls are to social media what peanut butter is to jelly. Trolls are people who purposefully peruse social looking to start negative interactions. In politics, encountering a troll is about as natural as a blue sky, so candidates, prepare yourselves.
When it comes to a troll, the most important step to take is deciding whether or not replying to them is worth the energy. While trolls are easy to block, campaigns run the risk of a troll using this as ammo to hit back even harder.
Creating posts or sending out a retweet with messages like, “Senator Jane Doe blocked me on Twitter! She can’t take the heat!” is a common tactic of trolls and something to look out for. Proper judgement on whom to respond to and whom to ignore goes a long way.
Messages help create a road map of what issues are important to constituents. Candidates should take note and use this information to shape their digital strategy or modify it, when necessary.
Receiving several messages on one topic shows what’s important to voters. If there’s silence on a campaign’s key issue, include it more in digital messaging. The best way we learn is from each other — both in the world of politics and out.
We pride ourselves on community management expertise. Learn more about BCom Solutions, here.