Dr. Politics: Social Media
By Dwight Patel
First Vice Chairman, MCGOP
We all have a lot of fun on social media. Who doesn’t enjoy poking liberal friends with facts, and constantly putting them on the defensive? Of course, that’s fine if you aren’t running for office or planning to run for office. And while it’s important to concentrate on the mechanics of establishing a presence on social media, let’s talk about the not-so-pleasant downside of some of your past posts.
As I noted in my column, “Digital Campaign Part II – FACEBOOK AND BLOGS,” every campaign needs a digital presence. However, before you start you may want to clean up your FB, Twitter – and if you have a blog focusing on lowbrow issues that you’re likely to find on “Coast-to-Coast AM,” you may want to purge it. Obviously, you don’t want to have links to unconventional subject areas such as “Chemtrails,” “Aliens in the Government” or pictures of yourself drunk or clowning around with friends. You need to present a professional serious image as a candidate.
My recommendation is to close your personal Facebook account and create a new one. After all, it’s important to separate yourself from your past history in order to keep people from taking images or posts out of context and using them against you, your family and/or your campaign.
Also, it would be a good idea to create a Facebook Page for your campaign. A page is very different from a FB Account. This will be the public face of your campaign. Its professional appearance and constant updates will keep people from going to your personal page. Use the new profile you set up on FB to be tied to the page rather than using the old FB profile, which may or may not have questionable content that can be used out of context and become a problem.
I would also lock down your personal site to the point where strangers can’t see anything on that page. This way, only people who know you can access your page and they need to send you a message to send you a friend request.
You should take the same precautions with Twitter that you did with Facebook, i.e. scrub your tweets and review any questionable tweets. The best way to sidestep potential problems would be to delete your old Twitter account and create a new one, if you think you may have said something that could be viewed as controversial. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of a local sports team, or you may have tweeted out something that, when looking back, you think “Hey did I really say that?” That’s why the best thing to do is to delete your Twitter account and start a new one for your campaign.
Using Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter for Fundraising
Now that we have gone through how to clean up your FB & Twitter, let’s take a look at how we can use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create another fundraising list.
What you need to do is examine your Facebook Friends List and create a FB Distribution list of your friends. Borrow a technique from your Christmas Card list by sending them a note, saying that you are running for office, and include a link asking them to (1) like your FB Candidate’s Page, (2) a link to your website where you can collect data, (3) include a donation link so they can click to donate to your campaign. Also, have them invite some of their like-minded friends to like your FB Candidate’s page.
For Twitter, look at the people who are re-tweeting your posts as well as select followers, and follow the procedure. After asking them to like your Facebook Candidates Page, ask for same three things that I mentioned above, namely time, money or a like. Then, suggest that they follow your campaign twitter account.
Sync your campaign Twitter with your phone, so that you can tweet out pictures and thoughts, but since you will be doing it on the fly, be sure to think through your tweet before sending it. There is only one guy who is that good with Twitter and it’s not you, unless your name is President Donald Trump.
Using Facebook Live
Facebook live is a great feature for Facebook Users. Everyone who is running for public office should use it. Tie it to your Campaign Page, not your personal page. Here’s something to keep in mind: Before you do Facebook Live, practice, practice and practice some more. Then go live. Facebook Live will not only send an alert to your friends that you are live, but will also bring it up in the newsfeeds of people who clicked “like” on your page. Facebook is prioritizing and promoting live video right now.
Facebook Live will help you develop better connections with your supporters by letting you get your message out without any media filters. This will also lead to high engagement with your campaign. You need to use it because it’s NEW, and again Facebook is prioritizing and promoting live video right now.