All Candidates Need a Strong Social Media Game

 
Aug 23, 2017

By Sabrina Williams

 

Whether a first-time political candidate or a former official mounting a comeback campaign, social media can be instrumental to a successful candidacy. Appealing to potential donors, volunteers, and voters is essential when running a campaign. A thoughtfully formulated social media strategy, particularly on Facebook, isn’t complete without engaging posts, dynamic videos, and well-produced live streams across various social media platforms. If formulated correctly, a robust social media presence with professional video and meme content will complement the political candidate’s communication of their values, platform, and activism in a highly visual way to those that matter most.

While candidates shouldn’t abandon hand-shaking and baby-kissing at community events, they should, however, strive to build a social media presence that highlights campaign activities, platform, and political values.

Engaging, Unique Content

When building a candidate's brand across social media platforms, engaging and unique content is a must. As Facebook and its users know, boring videos don’t get watched. Viewers demand captivating content from the start of the video and are hesitant to waste time as videos ramp up to a climax. In fact, a recent study done by Nielsen and commissioned by Facebook, found that up to 47% of the value in a video campaign was delivered in the first three seconds — and 74% of the value was delivered in the first 10.

Continuously adding new and interesting content to social media accounts keeps the account fresh and attracts new and repeat traffic.

Memes

According to Lifehacker, memes are king. These little widgets of political mass persuasion are powerful, absorbing, and relatively inexpensive. They do, however, require a healthy dose of social media sophistication and nuance to be successful and they tend to work best with millennials and younger audiences – exactly the demographic that many political candidates are trying to reach.

Here’s an example of a successful meme created by act.tv.

https://www.facebook.com/actdottv/videos/673015386222364/

Videos

Social video is huge and industry analysts only expect it to continue to grow at a remarkable pace for the foreseeable future. In fact, video accounts for staggering 78% of all U.S. internet traffic and native Facebook video makes up a large and vastly growing portion of that number. In June 2014, Facebook was getting approximately 1 billion views per day. One year later, that number jumped to 3 billion views per day.

In March, Mediakix wrote:

In April 2015, Facebook Video had 4 billion per day. By November 2015, that number swelled to 8 billion daily views. Assuming a linear trend in growth, that puts Facebook Video on track to see more than 64 billion views per day by August 2017, and around 32 billion views per day currently.

So, how do candidates create engaging videos that users will want to watch the video and that inspire them to donate, volunteer, and vote for a candidate? While there is no magic formula for viral videos, below are a few tips that have proven to be helpful when creating Facebook videos.

1.    Keep videos short: 1-3 minutes videos are the perfect length for Facebook.

2.    Text, text and more text: Since most Facebook videos auto-play on silent in users’ news feeds, make sure you have captivating text so your message isn’t lost.

3.    Your intro needs to rock: The first 3-10 seconds of a Facebook video are crucial to whether users decided to become viewers or keep scrolling.

4.    Copy, production, and cameras: When live streaming, be sure to have eye-catching copy on the posts, professional level production, if possible, and high-quality camera shots from multiple angles.

5.    Distribution: A strong Facebook distribution network can mean the difference between a video that “goes nowhere” and a video that has high engagement, high viewership, and multiple shares.

Candidates seeking to effectively reach potential donors, volunteers, and voters should consider social media memes and videos, particularly on Facebook, a vital tool in promoting their campaigns. Short social media videos are a powerful tool for candidates to convey the most important messages to their viewers: who they are, what they stand for, and what they plan to do for their communities.

Here’s another example of a powerful campaign video meme that allows constituents to know exactly where a candidate stands on an issue: https://www.facebook.com/actdottv/videos/474588579398380/

Running for office? Consider working with an experienced social media content producer like act.tv. Contact us today!