Ten years ago, social media likely would not have been on a politician’s radar. Facebook was just another internet fad that would soon fade away and Twitter didn’t even exist. Today, social media presence among politicians is common. It didn’t take long for politicians to realize that social media held power.
Microblogging has become a fad that isn’t likely to disappear any time soon and political PR professional recognize that. Social media platforms, like Twitter, allow politicians to be digitally vocal. Additionally, other social media users are encouraged to be vocal as well.
In his e-book “How to Use the Internet to Win,” Colin Delany illustrates the importance of Twitter to politicians. He details the following specifics regarding how best to leverage Twitter to your advantage.
Delany says that one of the most common uses for Twitter is to post links to blogs, videos, news articles, etc. Throw in some personal content that shows personality, but also attempt to drive traffic to promotional material outside of the Twitterverse.
Build a Following
This takes time and unless you’re besties with a celebrity, it can be really difficult. The best way to build an audience is to follow people that you’d like to be followed by. Hijack their audience and make it yours. Also, interact. Talk to your followers, reply to their comments, establish a connection. This is sure to increase your influence on social media rapidly.
Supporters = Ambassadors
Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, or Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies, appealing to your supporters is a must. Delany recommends simply sending out a “follow us on Twitter” email. It’s easy, but effective.
Twitter chats: engage with Twitter users by either asking them questions or answering theirs. Live tweeting an event can also be a good tactic to have in your arsenal. Keep up with trending topics – not the latest celebrity gossip, but things that are important for you as a politician (or as a politician’s PR dude) to be vocal about.