Facebook & Campaigns Part 1: Utilizing social media effectively during Covid-19.

In the COVID-19 era, managing a campaign is different than ever before. Facebook has become the new campaign trail, as almost everyone uses it, and with stay-at-home orders in place, it is the best place to reach voters. The question becomes: How should you create your Facebook page, how should you use your page, and what kind of content should you post? This will be split up into multiple parts so please bear with us until the end! For starters, you need to name your page. This should be no more than your name and what position you’re running for. No more, no less. You’ll also need a description of your page, which should be short and sweet. All you need to say is why you’re running. Whatever your reason is, that will be your description--but keep it to a couple of sentences, as most people don’t want to read a paragraph to see who you are. You will need to categorize your page, so people can see what kind of page they’re dealing with. Your best options are “political candidate” or “public figure.” *Do not categorize your page as “politician.” This sometimes has bad optics, as people can have strong opinions about so-called politicians. For your hours of operation, you should advertise that you’re always open. Not that you have to be available for phone calls and to respond to messages 24/7, but people like to know that there is never a wrong time for them to get a hold of someone trying to represent them. Along with this come messaging. Your messaging should be ON. People need to be able to reach you. What else should be ON is the profanity filter on comments for your posts. There will always be some passionate constituent who uses some vulgarity, but others don’t need to see that, nor does it look great on you for allowing it to show up on your posts. One of the most important things you will use for your profile is your profile picture! This is not just a picture of you from your phone that was taken at a concert one weekend, lean towards professionally done headshot photos. Along with profile pictures comes your cover photo. This can be one of three things: A picture of your family, a landmark in your district, or your campaign banner. Showing your family lets people know that you are an ordinary person just like them and that you have skin in the game. A district landmark lets people know you are running to represent them, and that you understand your district. Your campaign banner brands you that much more, and allows people to make that connection when they see your signs and then your page later, or vice versa. *Always be sure when creating content you learn what sizes are best when uploading, with FB Cover photos there is a specific size that will ensure nothing is cropped out when uploaded. You will want to use the best template possible when creating your campaign page, and for this, “Politician” is useful when you’re running for office. Nobody can see which model you are using, so go ahead and wear the politician label this time. You can add admins to your page, or agencies you work with. You can also use authorizations for advertisements--this is recommended. You want to advertise your page to voters, so take advantage of this feature. When it comes down to posting on your page, you want to limit them to 3-4 times per week. Keep in mind that the more often you post, the more watered down your posts become, and people will not engage, nor read them as much. When you post, it should be meaningful. Posts can be anything from what you or the campaign are up to, or what you plan to do once elected, but your posts should be useful to people. Memes, while amusing, are unprofessional, and may give people the perception that you are as well.

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