7 Social Media Lessons From US Politics
Super Tuesday is a quadrennial US event when the most delegates can be won because the largest number of states hold primary presidential elections on the same day. As result, candidates must maximize these returns to prove their electability beyond amassing sufficient party delegates to win the nomination.
Understand winning Super Tuesday is as much about the psychological advantage as it is about the delegate count.
Here’s what it takes to get out the vote and win the lion’s share of delegates on Super Tuesday and how to use these activities to improve your social media marketing. To improve their social media execution and results, marketers should heed Super Tuesday’s lessons.
- Have name recognition. At a minimum, do voters know who you are and agree with what you stand for? To this end, it’s helpful meet and talk with people across the various states. Having an easy-to-spell and pronounce name is an asset. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: On social media, ensure your brand is consistent and professional. Take into consideration the difficulty spelling your product name as well as your URL. If prospects can’t remember it, the chances are you’re loosing potential sales. From a search perspective, it’s important to ensure that your name is spelled correctly or you’ll have to pay to get the traffic from the other sites.
- Possess broad appeal. Since there are a variety of states with different interests up for grabs on Super Tuesday, it’s important to be about to attract a wide variety of different constituents. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Can your product or offering reach out to a broad variety of prospects? If you’re focused on a specific niche, consider how you can use this to attract a broader audience or to attract a variety of smaller niche audiences with different interests.
- Engage with prospective voters. Here’s where the candidate gets out and talks to real people whether it’s in a local auditorium or knocking on doors. The same holds true for marketing since you have to overcome prospects objections before they’ll purchase from your organization, whether it’s in your store, on your website or on social media. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Create at least one social media presence where you are available to interact with your prospects and customers to answer their pre-purchase questions as well as provide post-sale support. These interactions can be in real time on sites like Facebook and Twitter or more passively by providing useful information in a blog or video. Don’t underestimate the value of interacting with potential customers in real life through meetups and other social media related events.
- Build a grassroots community. This often occurs one person at a time and can be done in real life or on social media platforms. Community is at the heart of social media. From a marketing perspective, it’s about your prospects, customers and the general public. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Building a social media network is about developing relationships that go beyond closing the deal. Bear in mind that customers engage on social media for a variety of personal reasons: from getting discounts to having their customer service issues resolved. Further, don’t underestimate the importance of working for the greater good, not just the next sale.
- Create an organization to support your initiatives. Elections require a lot of work from a lot of people. To ensure everyone understands what needs to be done when entails infrastructure to ensure everyone’s on the same page. The same is true for your organization’s social media. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Social media is more than one person sending a couple of tweets every morning. It requires having people trained who can answer customer inquiries, developing appropriate content and getting approval to release the information.
- Gather sufficient resources. As any candidate will tell you, campaigns require a steady flow of cash to build organization and run supporting advertising. When it comes to social media marketing, both financial and human resources are needed. Like a political campaign, it’s useful to have support from a variety of sources. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: In the planning phase of your social media marketing, get buy-ins from as many members of your senior management team as possible because social media isn’t just a marketing initiative. Social media requires support across your organization. Think marketing, customer service, sales, product, legal and others.
- Ask for the vote. For grassroots campaigns, this can go as far as literally driving people to the polls. While marketers may not drive prospects to their retail establishments, they should ask for the sale; known as a call-to-action. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: When it comes to social media, marketers often omit this step. This is attributable to the social nature of these platforms. The problem is that prospects, like voters, may need help. Therefore, always include a contextually relevant call-to-action, whether it’s the next step in the purchase process or the sale itself.
Like a Super Tuesday candidacy, every effective social media marketing campaign requires these basics to ensure that there’re sufficient resources and training to engage with prospects and customers in a way that causes them to be more positively disposed to buying from your organization. Similarly, your approach and mindset are important to your social media results.
What other Super Tuesday social media marketing tips would you add to this list and why? (Please note: This isn’t an invitation to discuss politics but rather social media marketing.)
Here’s another post related to the 2012 elections from the Iowa Caucus.
Here are some related social media articles you may find of interest.
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- Why isn’t anyone following me on Twitter?
- 21 Point Social Media Checklist
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwvc/6306132607/