I remember back when Myspace started. I created a page (Its still there) and I heard some of my older friends and colleagues scoff “What are you 13!?” “Awww isn’t that cute.” “No one who is out of High School should be caught dead having one of those.” It was almost kind of embarrassing, but I kept my page because it was the best and quickest way of communicating with my old Army buddies; that was in 2005. Fast forward 5 years into the future; Facebook and Twitter has become the cornerstone of any PR campaign. We use to laugh at it and now it is one of the most valuable tools in…are you ready for this? Politics.
Think of it? Obama, McCain, Palin, almost every state and county lawmaker and every candidate running for office have embraced social media. Not because they want to, but because they must. Fifty and Sixty somethings relaying to the rest of the world what they are doing and embracing a form of communication that was only used by tweens a couple years back.
Think of it. Is there a more effective and inexpensive way of connecting with your voters? You can push your message and increase traffic to your site. You can point out your opponent’s shortcomings. You can give the public a little insight to what your life is like and let them bond with you. You can do this all in a format that they are comfortable with; at home in the evening or weekend, on a computer screen when they are relaxing. I’ve spoken to voters who have already made their decisions based on a few posts by a candidate that has resonated with something they believe in. When you friend a voter on Facebook, you are doing just that, you are making that voter your friend and you have the opportunity to bond. If you disagree that’s fine, you can try to connect solely by shouting a few kind words, in the middle of a loud event. Social media should be working hand and hand with your appearances. The truth is a warm and genuine personality, a strong plan and a consistent social media presence are almost unbeatable.
If you’re running for office this year it’s not too late. The train hasn’t left the station but you just have to hope your opponent didn’t take the earlier trip. Social media might still feel awkward if you’re old school but hey, you can always ask your kids for help.