Social Media Training For Politicians

Getting it right

We recently spoke about the importance of being educated in the use of social media as an elected representative, you can find it here. Many holding office may be still holding onto the hope that it is passing fad but it's 2017 now so we can safely say that it’s here to stay.

We have been reflecting a lot lately on the risk of social media for politicians. It’s easy to see the benefits; the relationships you build, the reach to your voters, the sheer excitement you can get from one tweet but what about when things go wrong?

140 characters have ruined careers, it’s hard to have sympathy for someone who tweets something derogatory especially when they know they are in the public eye and their 1.2million followers will see it. We need to have common sense here, right?

Twitter is the dangerous one, there is something so fleeting about sending a tweet out there and thinking it will disappear in 15 minutes. It won't if you are somebody who is speaking on behalf of a segment of society- you have a duty to uphold.

Many politicians and candidates who aren’t versed in how to run a clean and responsible account come to us and ask us one simple question, how do we share our opinion without upsetting people? Not easy but here are a few tips.

1. Your twitter account is now to serve your voters/followers, you can no longer be validated by saying "opinion are my own, not those of my employer".

2. We don’t mean to silence your own voice but you must now be considerate of all your followers.

3. You have responsibility to serve those people who may not have voted for you so be wise when choosing what you are saying.

4. Don’t set out to antagonise anyone and don’t add yourself into any arguments that may not concern you.

5. Ask people to message you directly if you feel they are trying to confront you on an issue, always look like you are willing to listen.

6. Share positive updates but also share your concerns in a democratic manner.

7. Some tweets are just reflective of your thoughts at that exact moment, if you think you may change your mind later, don’t tweet it.

It’s so important to keep in mind that no matter how smart a strategy you think you have come up with, everybody sees what you are doing, just the way you keep a track of what they are up to. This is, in fact, one of the most important characteristics of social media – everybody sees everything, and everybody can know everything.

Facebook? Certainly, but Instagram should also be on your radar

Twitter is where we go for fast interaction and more often than not to just blow off some steam. Facebook is more about community and group interaction. Comment threads are easily navigated here and it's a nice place to share your campaign albums, manifestos and overall bio with the masses. Just remember likes on a page doesn’t equate to votes.

2017 has been the year where we have moved beyond ‘likes’ however. It’s about recording live action and with live streaming and platforms such as Facebook and Instagram it’s a politician's secret weapon.

Instagram is extremely easy to use and it’s a medium which is relatively easy to stay neutral on.

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social channels out there – it hit 400 million users late last year and is projected to be a $5.3 billion business by the end of 2017. A profile of that magnitude has obvious appeal for politicians, and with the platform’s potential for huge engagement, a good Instagram strategy can pay dividends.

More Specific Social Media Tips

Facebook Page Setup

Twitter Advertising

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Live Streaming

If you are interested in speaking to Ciara about more social media tips, why not set up a call below.

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