Social media, oh sweet, sweet, social media. Yes, being a digital agency specializing in social media marketing, we are enthusiastic about everything and anything the social world has to offer. We lap it up, are the first ones to adopt the new roll-outs, and talk tirelessly about how we can use social platforms better to turbocharge our clients' brand image and lead generation.
With the election fever kicking in, political campaigns are going full throttle. Political social media promotion is at an ever high and the PR machinery is churning out campaigns to hammer their message and win constituencies. But during these high-octane activities, there are chances of some serious goof-ups—the ones that can promptly transport you into people's bad books or worse—land them in hot water with their respective parties. Oh uh.
Here are some serious mistakes that politicians must ensure they don't commit-
Pretending to be sincere
People are smart. They know when they are being taken for a ride and will not suffer dishonesty or insincerity. Social media for political campaigns is like walking on the thin ice sheet—say anything in a lighter vein and you end up stirring a hornet's nest, don't say anything on a topic that's trending and you still end up incurring the wrath of people! It's tricky, really but doesn't mean you can't crack it.
The best advice we'd like to give politicians is to be personal without getting too personal, meaning—
it's good to share your opinions about what you think but without indulging in mudslinging or besmirching your opposition. Take time to become familiar with the social platforms you are going to be on during the campaigns. Understand their USPs—say, for example, copy pasting your tweets on your Facebook page will do you no good. People follow you everywhere and this shortcut will cut you off from them. While it's understandable that you will be most likely be relying on a social media team to handle this all for you, make sure you got the basics covered.
We know automation tools are crucial and effective but mindlessly posting updates at times when people aren't on social media is a sheer waste of time and efforts.
Typing mistakes have always been off-putting but in the world of social media—they are an absolute no-no. What you put out on social media is directly associated with what you stand for and spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and incorrect punctuation reflects poorly on your image. Sometimes, it's your mobile, other times—it's your autocorrect (it acts as if it has its own mind). Some may argue that social media platforms especially Twitter works on immediacy and instant observation sharing and that it's natural and endearing even for mistakes to happen. But no, it doesn't work like that. Your inability to string a decent sentence together shows your sloppiness and casual attitude—both of which are detrimental to your image.
Incomplete and inconsistent social profiles
Give out all the information there is to give your constituents—if you have a website, share the link on your social platforms; if you have a political ideology to share, share it; if you have an app, tell people where they can download it. Make sure you don't lose out on filling the details. Failure to do so shows carelessness and slipshodness and plants doubts about you.
Inconsistency is like giving out the message to people yourself that you aren't serious. If you are a politician who is running for the first time for a post, make sure you build your community and goodwill, many months in advance before the elections start with authentic and relevant regular updates. People will favor the one who has a genuine two-way communication with them on a regular basis as opposed to the one who has sprung up during the elections because it's time for message reinforcing.
Maintaining a one-way communication
You will be defeating the purpose of social media altogether if you only use it communicate what you have to say without encouraging your constituents/followers to share theirs or acknowledge what they have to say. The idea of being on social media is to be sociable. If you don't respond to people's comments and only keep publishing updates on your platforms—brace yourself for their wrath.
A good example of responsiveness would be that of our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi— and Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, their prompt and witty responses have made them popular on Twitter. It's good to see our politicians' and leaders' account abuzz with activity!