September 7th, 2011
Epolitics.com may have taken the last couple of weeks of summer off, but SOME people have more of a work ethic — among them regular contributor Beth Becker (@spedwybabs). Check out her latest treatise below, where she lays out Ten Commandments for Campaign Social Media, which she’ll follow soon with more detail. Take it away, Beth:
Ten Commandments of Campaign Social Media
By Beth Becker
Social media will never win a campaign.
A campaign cannot win without social media.
At first glance, these two statements may seem mutually exclusive. They are not.
A campaign cannot win by using social media only. A campaign can have all the Facebook “likes” in the world, millions of followers on Twitter and Visible Vote, and if the rest of the campaign doesn’t exist, they won’t win.
On the other hand, if a campaign has a solid field plan and knows which doors to knock on, which homes to call; if a campaign has a solid fundraising program and plan for constructive spending of that money, that campaign cannot win the election without the use of social media to augment everything else they are doing.
In my consulting practice, if I had dime for every campaign that was so excited to be using social media but had no field plan, no fundraising, no message calendar and no ground game of any kind, I’d be able to fund all of the Progressive organizations I’d like to.
Everyone always points to the success President Obama’s 2008 campaign had using social media. They fail to mention that the social media was only so successful because it was tied into everything else the campaign was doing. That is why it was so successful.
Over the next 10 weeks I will be back to share with you some of the social media best practices that will allow your campaign to use social media to complement the rest of your campaign. I call these practices the “10 Commandments of Social Media”.
To preview what we will discuss:
- Thou shalt have other gods before me
- Thou shalt know thy audience and their channel preferences
- Thou shalt use the platforms that match your strategic goals
- Thou shalt not value quantity over quality
- Thou shalt engage your audience
- Thou shalt exchange value with your audience
- Thou shalt not mix person/celebrity and organization/entity
- Thou shalt not beg for listeners
- Thou shalt keep it real
- Thou shalt measure results
These 10 best practices apply to the use of social media anywhere — in business, advocacy, personal life and political campaigning. The rest of this series will explore these practices with an emphasis on political campaigns.
Thanks Beth! Looking forward to the rest. For another take, see Martin Matheny’s previous piece in these pages, Nine Things Campaigns Shouldn’t Forget in the Gee-Whiz World of the Social Web. – cpd