Running for Office? Tackle These 5 Digital Tasks First
Make Sure You Are Running for Office the Right Way Getting Your Digital Game is On Point.
So you’ve decided you’re running for office. What are your first steps? Maybe calling friends and family to let them know the news? Starting to ask for donations for your campaign? Hiring a campaign manager? It’s possible you haven’t yet thought about some key digital items that will make your big announcement a big success.
You can’t run for office without a website, full stop. Your campaign website should be mobile-friendly and feature your photo, what position you’re running for, and your bio. Depending on what you’re running for, you might include some information on where you stand on the important issues to your community. It would also be useful to include contact information for people who want to volunteer for your campaign or contact your office to learn more about you and/or your race.
It takes money to run for office, so be sure your website includes a way to collect donations! The place where donations are collected should be easy to use (mobile-friendly!), easy to find, and easy to share. Nothing is worse than when someone wants to donate to your campaign and is deterred by a donation page that is clunky and not user friendly. Make it easy for people! There are plenty of great tools that exist to help make your website streamlined in this way, so take advantage.
As you build your base of supporters, you’re going to want to create an email list. This can be people you reach out to for volunteer opportunities, donations, and in-person events. It’s important to make sure this list evolves with your campaign and that you’re communicating with these people on a regular basis. But first you need the names! Make sure your website has a method for collecting email addresses and that you are categorizing and organizing those names and email addresses on the backend. This will help streamline your communications and put your supporter list to work as you’re running for office.
Social media accounts
In addition to a website, folks who are running for office should have their own campaign-focused social media accounts. Depending on your race, you may want to tailor how many platforms you’re on. If you’re running for office in a municipal race in a rural part of Ohio, Facebook and Twitter may be enough. But if you’re running in a statewide race, Instagram and Snapchat might be worthwhile additions. Having your social media accounts set up is only half the battle. You’ll want to make sure you are posting on these sites with some regularity, so take a look at the capacity you have on your campaign staff. Social media giants Facebook and Twitter require that you are verified through their platforms before you can run any paid political ads. While you may not be thinking of running paid ads at the start of your campaign, chances are you’ll be running them around key moments in your race and the verification process can take weeks to complete, so start it as soon as possible.
Paid search ads
Speaking of ads, social isn’t the only platform to run them on. One way you can increase your organic search results is by running paid search ads on Google that direct people to your campaign’s landing page. This will help the algorithm recognize your website so when people search for you online, your campaign website will pop up first. You should also set up your ads to appear around relevant keywords to your race so you can help control the narrative. Just like Facebook and Twitter, Google also requires you to have your accounts verified in order to run political ads, so make sure you start that process as early as possible.
Your digital presence is a big part of launching your campaign for office, so be sure to take the time to plan out how you want to appear online. These five must haves will help your run for office be as successful as possible.
You can find more tips on running for office here.