Communicating With Social Media

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Communicating with Voters Using Social Media:

Communicating with Voters Using Social Media Presented by New Media Communication Advisors Michael Handley and Linda Magid Winning Election Begins with Engagement

In this Presentation, You’ll Learn…:

In this Presentation, You’ll Learn… What constitutes social media. What the focus of your social media efforts should be. What social media networks are most important to and most used by most constituents. The basics of using those social media networks effectively. The basics of measuring your social media effectiveness. Where to get started (or re-started) and how to keep engagement going. 2 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

What Is Social Media?:

What Is Social Media? Social media is a combination of communication channels used to share (broadcast) content that is interesting enough for people to want to consume it, then share and discuss it with friends: video and audio content photos, images, cartoons posted text — status updates, tweets, blog articles, mobile text documents, slides, news articles, polls Social media in the political context is developing a dialogue (two-way conversation) with your constituents about what’s most meaningful and important to them . Must have a well planned and defined issue / messaging strategy. 3 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Why Social Media, Why Now?:

Why Social Media, Why Now? Social media is no longer a novelty; it’s necessary. It must be part of your political organization’s 360  issue messaging strategy. Your constituents are on social media and expect you to be there, too. Your constituents want engagement — two-way conversation with you — not just a monologue from you. It’s the best way to garner support, get volunteers, hire staff, build an organization, generate influence and maintain communication with constituents. 4 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Why Social Media, Why Now? (cont’d):

Why Social Media, Why Now? (cont’d) Most highly valued political campaign practices are live phone call and door to door canvassing - because they engage voters in conversation. Candidates themselves do not have time to canvass – one voter at a time. Recruiting enough volunteer or paid campaign workers to canvass enough voters to win election is difficult. Canvassing contact is usually just a one-time conversation per election cycle. Using social media, candidates can regularly converse with many people at a time. 5 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Candidates Can Build Trust and Confidence Using Social Media:

Candidates Can Build Trust and Confidence Using Social Media 6 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors Just as a candidate wins over more voters by personally canvassing door to door and by phone than interns, volunteers or paid canvassers doing the same, a candidate personally engaging in regular social media conversations will win over more voters than volunteers tweeting on the candidate’s behalf.

But, there are more reasons to engage with constituents on social media.:

But, there are more reasons to engage with constituents on social media. 7 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Six Reasons You Need to Engage with Constituents on Social Media:

Six Reasons You Need to Engage with Constituents on Social Media To develop relationships because constituents support candidates/incumbent legislators they know, like and trust. It’s an ideal, relatively inexpensive, fast constituent services tool; you’ll learn about your constituents in a way that helps you effectively communicate with them on their issues and concerns. To influence constituents, share and get support for your legislative agenda, initiatives and causes and raise awareness of issues by sharing content that is relevant to constituents and supporters. To connect meaningfully with the media and volunteers. To encourage your constituents and supporters to influence others on your behalf. To learn about detractors and manage your online/social media reputation and presence. 8 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

What are some well-known social media platforms? :

What are some well-known social media platforms? Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Google+ Flickr Blog Talk Radio Blogs Wikipedia Pinterest Tumblr 9 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

But, those are just a few…:

But, those are just a few… 10 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

What Social Media Channel(s) Should You Be On?:

What Social Media Channel(s) Should You Be On? 11 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

At a minimum, you need to be on::

At a minimum, you need to be on: Your own website Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Don’t ignore mobile texting Which combination depends on your purpose for using social media, what kind of networking you will do on social media, the kind of content you or your campaign will share and what your overall messaging strategy is. 12 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

10 Constituent Rules of Engagement:

10 Constituent Rules of Engagement Rules you should know… 13 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

10 Basics of Constituent Engagement with Social Media:

10 Basics of Constituent Engagement with Social Media Do your research . Know what issues your constituents care about and post relevant content and responses to them. Remember, you want to invite and nurture a two-way conversation. Be willing to answer questions, even hard ones, and be involved in an honest dialogue — even when challenged. Be transparent, credible, authentic. Constituents spot fakes quickly and faking is worse than not trying at all. Remember, social media is a natural extension of you, the candidate and legislator, and the issues and causes you’re championing on behalf of your constituents. It’s about your constituents , not you . 14 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

10 Basics of Constituent Engagement with Social Media:

10 Basics of Constituent Engagement with Social Media Remember what you say anywhere on social media may be shared everywhere on social media. And nothing on the Internet dies. You must dedicate resources appropriately to social media engagement - meaning a Communications Director following a messaging strategy to supervise social media communications staff, volunteers, or interns. Update your network of social sites regularly with fresh, new content. Regularly respond to constituents and supporters. Don’t allow someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing (or saying) to do it for you. Constantly monitor social site traffic statistics and comments Have a plan on what and when to post in order to capture and engage the audience that will benefit your campaign/organization. Know your message and stay on message. 15 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

CellPhone-Only –> Smart Mobile Web Device Only:

CellPhone-Only –> Smart Mobile Web Device Only 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors 16 32.5% of all Texas households were cell-only in mid 2010. Metro areas often have even higher cell-only adoption rates than the state as a whole: Dallas County: Cell Only/Mostly = 61.9% Harris County: Cell Only/Mostly = 54.5% El Paso County: Cell Only/Mostly = 47.6% Bexar County: Cell Only/Mostly = 46.8%

Think of Mobile as Social Media:

Think of Mobile as Social Media Only 15-25 % of solicited political email messages are opened Older people use email – younger people use social media and texting Approximately 95 % of text messages are opened Mobile is an immediate method of communication with constituents Text Alerts Text-to-Data Text-to-Voice Text-to-Screen MMS and Video Smartphone Apps 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors 17

Think of Mobile as Social Media:

Think of Mobile as Social Media Approaches to mobile use: ‘Pull’ Messaging Strategies : your constituents contact you via mobile to request specific information; you respond with customized information and/or request for more voter I.D. info. ‘Push’ Messaging Strategies : you broadcast information via mobile to a distribution list of subscribers who give you permission to send them messages Benefits Effective communication channel, especially for ages 18-35 Collects mobile phone numbers with permission to use 3 million people voluntarily gave the Obama campaign their cellphone numbers in 2008 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors 18

Think of Mobile as Social Media:

Think of Mobile as Social Media 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors 19 EDUCATION Short Code: 5 or 6 Digits Keyword: Corresponds to Campaign Use mobile SMS to message voters and solicit information Every online and offline campaign activity should ask voters to text a keyword to a short code. 62262 Education Welcome to Obama for America Mobile. Reply with your 5 digit ZIP for local education info. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. To end, text STOP 622-62 Reply could ask for email address, or other Text FOLLOW BARACKOBAMA to 40404 to receive campaign updates via Twitter to your mobile phone. http://www.usshortcodes.com/docs/SMS_for_Nonprofits.pdf

Engaging your Constituents :

Engaging your Constituents Getting started on social media and keeping the engagement going. 20 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Prepare & Integrate:

Prepare & Integrate Make sure you do your demographic research. It’s best to integrate social media strategy into your overall messaging and media plan. You need to know what social media platforms your constituents and supporters use most frequently and commit resources there. Know how you’ll integrate social media into your overall messaging strategy; it should, for example, overlap with your email messaging and be part of your overall messaging strategy. Combine social media with offline networking (like tweetups or Facebook , Meetup , or LinkedIn events, and “town hall” meetings) to build relationships. The social media program drives the campaign and the campaign drives the social media program. 21 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Cover All Social Media Bases:

Cover All Social Media Bases Are there other social media platforms you need to be on like Pinterest , Viddy , Flickr , Foursquare, Instagram or Blog Talk Radio? Are your constituents on ethnic, lifestyle, values or gender specific platforms, too? Are they on forums or listservs ? Only robust research into your messaging needs will tell you that. 22 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Develop a Social Media Strategy for Each Platform You Use:

Develop a Social Media Strategy for Each Platform You Use They’re all different and require a different but integrated strategy. This is where you decide whether you’ll continue to do social media yourself or hire a new media consultant /strategist and/or new media communications director. Don’t use an inexperienced intern or volunteer. They won’t know the issue messaging and social media strategies you need to use to be successful, and they may not understand constituent relationship management. How you use each platform should be determined by the social media strategy you developed as part of your overall messaging plan. 23 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Develop a Social Media Strategy for Each Platform You Use:

Develop a Social Media Strategy for Each Platform You Use Develop a social media plan for each social media platform that incorporates each social media network as seamlessly as possible into your overall strategy. Know the language and methods of use and sharing for each platform. You’ll need to know how to build a fan base and find friends on Facebook , get subscribers on YouTube, find followers on Twitter, make connections and join the right groups on LinkedIn. You may use Web and/or Facebook Ads to help people find your sites/pages/feeds. Again, make sure you integrate the social media platforms with one another and your social media into your overall messaging strategy. Your social media communications team lead(s) must coordinate with your traditional media team lead(s) -- one person should not lead both communications efforts. 24 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

After developing (or revising) your social media strategy:

After developing (or revising) your social media strategy You create your first or revamp your current social media accounts. You find appropriate friends, fans, connections, subscribers and followers among your constituents and supporters. Begin sharing content and engaging in discussions with them online. To show genuine interest in constituent and supporter engagement, on social media, ask, ask, ask people to connect with you on social. You do this via email, your website, web ads, at events, during interviews and speeches, handouts, push cards, yard signs, t-shirts, and in all other messaging campaigns and vehicles both online and offline, including print and broadcast media. 25 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

After developing (or revising) your social media strategy:

After developing (or revising) your social media strategy You conduct ongoing demographic and legislative research using social media tools like surveys, polls and discussions to find out what your constituents want, need or are thinking. You share appropriate personal and business information about yourself to humanize yourself. Let your constituents and supporters get to know you . You post constant requests for involvement—ask constituents and supporters to volunteer, join, help, participate, share and comment. Keep your website current, fresh and interactive so your constituents will keep going back and keep engaging with you online and on social media. 26 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Get Started (or re-started) yesterday but do so strategically :

Get Started (or re-started) yesterday but do so strategically Rushing into social media can do more harm than good. Once you start conducting social media activities, you must continue them regularly and do them right. Failing to do so can ruin your engagement strategy, lowering support. Not understanding with whom you’re trying to engage and how to effectively engage them is a turn off to social media savvy constituents and supporters. We already know saying or doing the wrong thing on social media can ruin your reputation. What happens on social media stays on social media— forever . (Think Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).) But, be as aware of what others are saying about you as what you say on social media. 27 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Get Started (or re-started) yesterday but do so strategically :

Get Started (or re-started) yesterday but do so strategically We know damaging your reputation or having it damaged by someone else on social media is more costly than offline...except if you do it on television. Actually, it’s close— really close. Learn what not to do on social media by researching “social media blunders” and try to avoid them. Make sure your media messaging strategist is involved in your social media activities. If your media strategist isn’t a social media expert, either hire one who is or hire a separate social media strategist. Commit the necessary time and resources to a strong social media strategy for social media success. 28 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Monitor & Measure Effectiveness:

Monitor & Measure Effectiveness Set up Google Alerts to learn what people and the media are saying about you online. At a minimum, use Google analytics to track web traffic and tools like YouTube Insights, Hootsuite Analytics, Twitter Counter, Social Mention, LinkedIn statistics and Facebook Insights to monitor effectiveness on social media. (There are many others, too.) However, you need to understand those tools and how to use them in order to develop effective metrics and analyze data. The best measure of your success is the level of actual constituent engagement on your social media accounts and what your constituents and supporters (and the media) are saying online and off about you and your organization. 29 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Monitor & Measure Effectiveness:

Monitor & Measure Effectiveness For example, shares and comments on Facebook (as well as ongoing discussions), retweets on Twitter and direct engagement and mentions anywhere on social media (positive, negative, neutral) are measurements you should care about. Monitoring allows you to shift, tweak or scrap strategies that are not working and increase activity that is. 30 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

A Word About Websites:

A Word About Websites You need a basic website to facilitate your social media (and overall messaging) strategy. It’s often the first place where many go to find out about you and where you are on social media. You can put content from social media on your website to drive people to your social media accounts. Use it to build lists for email campaigns. You can put more content on your website than you can on most social media platforms. Keep it up-to-date with recent content; know search engine content rules because they change. Make sure you link to it from your social media accounts. Make sure your websites are optimized for search engines to find keywords when people Google them. Consider paying for search results page ads and placement. 31 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

A Final Word:

A Final Word In politics, social media can be used as: A marketing tool. A conversation with constituents and supporters. A gauge of your civic responsibility. A ny or all of the above, depending on an organization or campaign’s political strategy or requirements. However, regardless of the social media tool used, the message (and its dissemination methods) remains the most critical part of any political messaging strategy. 32 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

The Basics of Using Social Media :

The Basics of Using Social Media And, now, the very basics of using Facebook , Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn In other words, these tips are just the beginning. 33 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Facebook:

Facebook Set up Facebook Profiles, Pages, Groups or Causes and make them social search (keyword) optimized. Share your legislative initiatives, your votes, key issues of concern in your district or in the state. Ask constituents to share their concerns, ideas, opinions and values then RESPOND; this is a discussion platform. Share personal (carefully!), business or political content or news and values. Conduct polls and rally supporters around particular causes. Announce appearances, specific legislative activities, town hall meetings or other events. Post podcasts, photos and videos (but don’t forget to give them captions or descriptions and tag people). 34 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Facebook (cont’d):

Facebook (cont’d) Share internal content created by your organization and external content created by outside sources. Don’t just post content about yourself; post or allow posting of constituent or supporter content. Ask and answer questions (including hard ones that may get answers you don’t like), start discussions, respond to posts, deal with detractors. Give constituents and supporters ways to connect with you (invite to events, the State Capitol, call times, etc.). Let them know you’re available to hear their concerns. Be authentic and transparent. Be natural. Be approachable. Be relevant. 35 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Twitter:

Twitter It’s a microblogging site that’s not much different to use than texting. In fact, you can tweet from your smart phone. You share information about yourself, your agenda with your constituents and information from them with followers in under 140 characters. Share links to valuable content. Find and follow constituents and supporters; share their tweets by “ retweeting ”. Retweeting encourages people to follow you and “ retweet ” your content. 36 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Twitter (cont’d):

Twitter (cont’d) Find and follow members of the media and tweet press releases; develop relationships with news organizations and journalists. (Useful for publicity.) Share photos of your events and activities, videos you made about what you’re doing or of press interviews you got; audio recordings, including podcasts. Do tweetup events, live tweeting of town halls or tweet meets town halls to connect with constituents and supporters. Remember that twitter is about conversations , not just pushing your own content, initiatives, ideas or opinions. 37 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

YouTube:

YouTube Share pre-recorded videos and conduct live events. Create and upload messages in response to other legislators’, state officials’ or the governor’s speeches or announcements. Share segments of sessions where you’ve introduced legislation, have presented (or have been presented), commendations, awards, proclamations, made important announcements, etc. Share content made by or for supporting or opposing legislators and respond to detractors, media reports. 38 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

YouTube (cont’d):

YouTube (cont’d) Share constituent and supporter videos of outside events created by them, media or your staff. Make use of the “Favorites” and “Playlist” features to collect and share other users’ videos on your channel. Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your YouTube Channel to share content across platforms. Share video content directly from YouTube in emails and on your website. Keep adding fresh content to your YouTube Channel; add new content at least several times a month. New content doesn’t always mean your own but it should be yours most of the time. 39 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn LinkedIn is primarily for business networking and many small business owners and nonprofits use it. Perceived by some as more ‘professional’ than Facebook so more comfortable for these constituents and supporters to use. Most of you are entrepreneurs who understand their issues so connect with those constituents and supporters here. Join groups that your constituents and supporters are members of to monitor their interests, concerns, opinions and values. Do research by using “Answers” or posting questions to groups to ask specific questions about small business and nonprofit issues, social concerns, political issues, etc. 40 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

LinkedIn (cont’d):

LinkedIn (cont’d) Post your own blog articles (if you blog for business) and other content created by you. Use for your business activities not just legislative affairs as a way for constituents and supporters to learn about you, professionally. Create a profile with a full work/business history, start a Company page, follow other professionals, experts, strategists and legislators. Build your credibility by learning and leveraging the platform’s features. 41 6/19/2012 New Media Communication Advisors

Communicating with Voters Using Social Media:

Communicating with Voters Using Social Media Presented by New Media Communication Advisors Michael Handley and Linda Magid Winning Election Begins with Engagement

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