Saturday, August 22, 2015

How Social Media Wins Political Campaigns

By Joel Leyden

New York --- August 22, 2015 ... Social media is no longer the bastard son of the media.
It is the media. 

There was a time when newspapers (print), billboards, lawn signs, buttons, radio and TV ruled in winning a political campaign.
Those days are history. Classic media is still relevant, but no longer primary.

It is no longer the question "should we add social media to our campaign budget?" But - "should we add newspaper, TV and radio to our campaign budget".

The reason is called "instant", "feature" and "cost effective".

One need not wait for the morning paper to appear - a paper which was written 12 hours earlier.
One need not wait or miss the 7 p.m. evening news.

Just one click on Google, checking a hash tag feed on Twitter or checking your news feed on Facebook will give you all you need. And if it ain't there - move on.

We are looking at two animals - one is called organic or an Internet search find which appears naturally and the other is a paid sponsored result which appears in your search. They are both potent but their use is very well defined according to which stage of a political campaign you are at.

Forget having any kind of presence on Facebook without paying for it. Unless the New York Times, Reuters or AP has printed your Facebook page, you ain't gonna get LIKES. Facebook has learned how to make money and it's called paid advertising. You can have 5,000 friends on Facebook but you are not going to reach them or any other demographics without paying for it.

Twitter, on the other hand, is still very free. If your hash tag goes viral - then you have won the golden calf. 

The trick in using social media to win a political campaign comes down to one word: engage.
The more you engage the public, the more content you upload on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube the more people will see, read and vote for your candidate.

And if your candidate makes a mistake, misspeaks - he or she can make an immediate crisis communications comment on Twitter.

Need to contact a member of the press or the managing director of a stadium or civic center?
Go to - they should be there.

Do you still need to place ads in newspapers, radio and TV? Yes.
This is called Integrated Marketing. Where you advertise your social media real estate in print and advertise your print on social media with the same message. 

Your anchors on social media are Websites. Domain names are your branding. 

Ever wonder how hundreds if not thousands of people find an event and protest in it?
It's called social media. But to find that social media address you need to pay for it in both Facebook and Google. You need to advertise it in major print and broadcast media if the event is planned only a few days away from conception.

If you are not uploading on social media 24/7 - forget your political campaign and stay in bed.
The days of reading the morning paper and waiting for the 7 or 11 p.m. news is gone.

Last word: your social media is only as good as the quality of the content you are uploading.
Do not leave this critical work to an intern.
Retain and hire the best and most experienced editorial / PR staff (10+ years) who also know how to penetrate and distribute on the Internet.

Copyright © 2015 Joel Leyden. All rights reserved.