Campaign Social Media Mistakes And How You Can Avoid Them

by The Campaign Workshop

social media mistakes to avoid

Campaign Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

In this day in age, social media is essential to any advocacy or political campaign. Every successful campaign in the past few years has implemented social media to win over voters' hearts and minds. Integrating social media properly into your communication strategy is particularly useful when you're trying to reach young voters in an authentic way. However, just pressing tweet or publish won't get you that far. It is possible to use social media wrong. Here are the top 5 campaign social media mistakes you should avoid making:

1. Underestimating Its Importance

Candidates tend to be hesitant towards using social media for their political campaigns. Sometimes they only deploy one platform, such as Facebook, and ignore others - Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Sometimes they avoid social media all together, or don't put enough time and energy into crafting effective social media posts. If this is you, you are making social media mistake #1!

Social Media is the fastest, easiest and by far the cheapest way to reach a huge audience. Currently, Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, and Snapchat has 150 million people using it each day. Somewhere within the millions of users on these platforms resides your target audience; whether it be voters, volunteers, or donors. Social media is a great way to invite people to engage with your campaign in a personal and informal way.

2. Ignoring Key Demographics

Understanding what platform to spend time and resources on is an important part of your social media strategy. Each social media platform caters toward different demographics and targets audiences. Don't ignore these key demographics! For example, your grandmother might have a Facebook, but she probably doesn’t have an Instagram. A 20-year-old college student might have a Twitter account, but doesn't have a LinkedIn page. It can be overwhelming to try and engage with users on every app available - don't make this social media mistake # 2. Know your target audience and then use the proper social media platforms to engage with them. Capitalize on the power of social media to help you win your campaign! 

3. Not Optimizing Posts

Social Media was created to share interesting content easily, rapidly and effectively. To reach your target audience, it is essential to optimize your posts according to the social media platform you are using. Multiple methods for each social media platform exists to share content, but my general advice is to utilize hashtags. “Hashtagging” is a type of metadata tag used to label your content. It makes it easier for users to find posts on social media on a specific topic or campaign, and can even drive users who don't follow you to your profile. Using relevant hashtags or creating one to use for all of the posts surrounding a campaign is a great tool not only for people who want to engage in your campaign, but also for you to see the engagement of your campaign throughout social media.

4. Posting Inconsistently

Content Consistency is key. It’s great to share a piece of content, or activities during the campaign trail, but not posting often is a social media campaign mistake to avoid. We can connect #2 on this too - be smart about the platforms you use and place your efforts into social media wisely. Having a Twitter account or Facebook will only be beneficial to your campaign if you engage with your target audience. Post a variety of content: videos, statuses, articles, pictures, etc. onto your social media accounts to share your message & goals. Take it a step further and create a social listening strategy to keep up with the conversations your target audience is involved in, and see what they are saying about you too; this way you can engage with users and speak on issues in th public eye. 

5. Using Social Advertising Ineffectively

Algorithms in different social media sites work differently to optimize posts on social feeds. Ever wonder why you might have 1000 friends but only see select friend activity pop up on your newsfeed? Facebook recently changed their algorithm so that posts from family, friends, and core values are prioritized over other posts (same goes for Instagram). These algorithms actually make it more difficult for you to reach your target audience organically. Posting content with calls to actions paired with social advertising will allow you to beat the algorithm and reach your target audience at a low cost. 

Although there are plenty of best practices to use for different social media platforms, it’s important to remember that social media is constantly changing. Staying up to date on the latest and greatest social media tactics and platforms is an important part of your social media strategy. 

Now that you know what social media mistakes to avoid, you're ready to work on your political social media strategy