Much has been said and written about the influence and impact of social media in elections. While social media is not a substitute for the traditional means of campaigning, politicians do agree that it does provide an edge in staying in constant touch to the public.
Political parties are resorting to ride the digital wave by conducting campaigns through workshops and driving engagement on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Social media alone cannot help you win elections and the strategies adopted on digital front needs to be in accordance to the ground activities.
Here we present to you a list of strategies you must adopt once you decide to dive into the world of Social media:
1) Decide and Defend: Once you decide to be on social media, you need to defend the decision with full heart.
Reality: You need to analyze the pros and cons, the possible hurdles and any slack that might come your way prior to putting your step forward.
Once you jump into the field and feel otherwise, the whole table might turn against you. People might get the hint and create a bad impression about you in their minds.
The truth is “Wherever you go, social media will follow you!”
2) Understanding the KPI’s: You need to be clear with your objectives and what the public wants from you. The communication strategy should be in tune in both offline and digital marketing; which includes your social media communications as well.
Reality: People chose leaders with both mind and heart. You need to be logical and open minded in your approach as well as sensitive to critical issues. Someone is more likely to choose a leader who is a human, sensitive, intellectual, futuristic, visionary, active and open-minded. If you can master all of these qualities, it is very likely that people will look up to you!
3) Building an Inclusive campaign: While building a campaign, it should be such that the plan caters to different sections of society and not any specific one.
4) Delivering with Quality: What people see is what they buy! You need to power up the campaign with regularity as well as high quality.
Reality: High quality deliverance on social media usually requires three things:
a) Content (should be impactful)
b) Design (A new benchmark in content presentation and design)
c) Timing (In accordance with the mood of the market and competition moves)
5) Exploiting the right channels: Choosing an appropriate social media channel for your campaign depends on its purpose and strategy. This needs to be of the right mix.
Reality: Success cannot be coincidental. It has to be planned and executed.
6) Building an ecosystem: Focus on building a community by adding value to the society. You need to address an issue at the right time. While you do need to form an opinion and participate on important subjects, you should also try to stay away negative discussions.
Your Community Center Architecture should more or less look like this:
7) Be patience and Listen! : People will always talk; as a leader you should listen very patiently and closely. You need to know what they are talking about you and participate only when necessary. You should be more of a facilitator and leave the talking to the people.
Reality: Listening is always an important part of social media. People will talk where they want to, so it is essential that you listen to the entire social web and not ignore and miss out on something. Make the people feel important and favor will be returned!
8) Don’t be a news broadcaster, be a news maker! : You being the leader should focus on working on important things for the nation and the people and leave the talking and sharing on media and journalists. Share your views and opinions on social media only when required.
Reality: Leader is always inside out. As a leader you are expected to create stories and add value to the society through your vision and actions; be the subject rather than being the carrier of the subject.
9) Making a Strong Online Community: Community building is an integral aspect of a leader. A leader needs to know how and what connects the mass together; they could be different or specific interests. Always remember that communities are built on values and not on activities.
Reality: Communities are built every day. What matters is how long they can be sustained and how well can values be extracted from them. You need to focus on engaging and building a mass community with your followers and fans.
10) Consistence communication strategy: Social media is an important part of communication. The message conveyed on offline and online media needs to be powerful and aligned with each other.
Reality: You need to remember two things:
a) Social media does not guarantee victory.
b) Social media communication strategy should be in tune with the election strategy and offline activities.
Always adopt a communication tone which reflects YOU!
Social media is not a hoax. It is not just a platform for creating, sharing and exchanging information. It is about PEOPLE. It is about emotions, about relationships and community building. Social Media is not TECHNOLOGY, it is MEDIA!
View the presentation on Slideshare