Social Media 101 Guide for Candidates in the 2012 Quebec Elections #qc2012
Social media occupy an increasingly important part of consumers' attention: more than 24% of Quebec adults in 2011 used social media as a source of information according to CEFRIO . There is therefore a natural (or provoked) movement of political candidates towards these new communication platforms . However, as any user will tell you, we are not masters of social media in the time to tell. Here is a social media guide for candidates in the 2012 Quebec elections , but which could also be useful to many other users!
Editor's note : I would like to note that Adviso is a Web consulting and strategy agency, it will not be a question of the content to be addressed by the candidates, but of good practices in the use of social media. In addition, no political party will be put forward in this article.
Before you get started, here's a general piece of advice for people new to social media: educate yourself . If you're an occasional social media user , it's a good idea to get some training BEFORE you start posting . If this is your case or your client's case, I will continue to read this guide. Afterward, browse the Twitter and Facebook accounts of your colleagues and competitors to see posting trends.
USE TWITTER WELL
THINK BEFORE YOU TWEET
Twitter allows real-time exchanges, but that does not mean that the exchange should be done as quickly as possible, leaving quality aside. It is essential to think about the repercussions a tweet may have before posting it . Rotate your hands 7 times around the keyboard before clicking Send .
Plus, everything on Twitter is public, even your replies. When you reply to someone (using @username before your text), only people who follow you and the person can see the tweet. Keep in mind, however, that it only takes one retweet to show your thoughts to a lot of people. So remember that when you post on Twitter, the whole planet can read your tweet.
OPTIMIZE YOUR PERSONAL TWITTER ACCOUNT
It is important to know all touchpoints between the public and your Twitter account.
Twitter offers the possibility to customize our wallpaper. Without telling you that you have to write as much information as possible, it would be important to give it the colors of your party and to put some information about you. President Barack Obama has a very simple example. If I had to make a wallpaper for a party, I would write the names of the counties and the candidates running there in addition to the Twitter account of the party.
You have 160 characters to describe yourself clearly: remember to enter relevant information before talking too much about yourself. “What is your constituency? "What is your party?" These two questions should always be answered.
This photo accompanies all your tweets; it would be interesting for her to represent you . So, remember to put a photo of yourself on it, just to make it personal.
DIFFERENTIATE A DIRECT MESSAGE FROM A TWEET
A direct message on Twitter is similar to an email in real life: it sends a message to the user of their choice that only they can see . It is possible to send private messages only to people who follow you on Twitter. A tweet is a message sent from your account to all your followers; it is public.
MAKE GOOD USE OF DISCUSSION CHANNELS (HASHTAG)
Hashtags (#) are an integral part of using Twitter; you have to know how to use the vouchers to reach as many people as possible. The hashtags for the 2012 campaign are, for now: #PolQc, #Qc2012 and #Assnat. On the other hand, you should also know that hashtags can be created very easily and be used by many users at once. Allow 120 characters for your tweets to have enough room for hashtags . You have to follow the ongoing discussions to be aware of new uses.
MONITOR TWEETS TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION
In order to join the discussion, it is also sometimes necessary to monitor what is being said in order to filter out interesting conversations. The easiest way to monitor what's happening on Twitter is to use the Twitter search engine: Search.Twitter.com . On this page, it is possible to search for all tweets published in the last 7 days.
You could start by searching for your name to see discussions about you. To simplify future searches, Twitter provides the option to save these . Just click on the cog wheel as shown in the image to see the save option. Then, to reach the saved searches, you only have to click on the search field at the top to see them appear.
The best way to join the discussion is not only to use hashtags related to the election campaign, but also to follow tweets with the hashtags. To see all the tweets surrounding a hashtag easily, just click on it . The link corresponds to the Twitter search engine. Twitter displays by default the "Top Tweets" corresponding to your search, i.e. the most popular and recent tweets with the hashtag. So you can see what is being talked about the most right now.
TO REPLY OR NOT TO REPLY TO TWEETS?
Twitter being a communication channel, it is important to see questions from users as questions that would come from journalists during a press conference . Although one can respond easily and quickly from anywhere with Twitter, one should answer the questions to the best of one's knowledge. As mentioned previously, the answers should be considered your official view on the questions, since these are public and could end up in a newspaper.
WATCH OUT FOR TROLLS
A troll is an individual who likes to sow discord. He will do anything to piss you off . If certain individuals are asking a lot of your time, take a look at their profile to make sure that these people don't seem to just be trying to create a mess.
USE FACEBOOK WELL
I wouldn't rewrite the advice for posting public content, it's the same as on Twitter: anything you write can be read by anyone . However, here are some specifics specific to Facebook.
BET ON PHOTOS IN YOUR PUBLICATIONS
The photos represent the content most appreciated by fans. Try to put photos in your posts as often as possible. These must also be of an acceptable size to appear well on your Facebook page, i.e. 400px wide.
SEGMENT YOUR POSTS BY AUDIENCE
It is possible with Facebook to post only to users of one language . If you plan bilingual publications for your fans, you will need to segment your publications to avoid duplication.
To segment a publication , simply click on the "Public" button to the left of the publication button and choose the desired segmentation.
If you want to know if your fans are English-speaking on Facebook , just look at the statistics of your page. The easiest way to reach them is to click on the “Statistics” tab in the admin panel of your page.
COMPLETE YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE PROFILE
Your Facebook Page should tell Facebook users about you. As a politician on Facebook, it is possible for you to give away a lot of information about your academic, political and personal background. Take the opportunity to use this space to your advantage. To modify your page, simply choose the "Refresh information" option from your administration panel as shown in the image below:
SOME SOCIAL MEDIA COPYWRITING TIPS
Never forget that it's hard to pick up non-verbal language online , so make sure tweets and posts are explicit and don't leave any innuendo. Avoid evasive answers or prefabricated answers. You talk to individuals, never forget that.
Revise your texts . Not making mistakes is essential. Take the time to read it again even if you want to publish your message as soon as possible.
Write short texts . User attention on social media is not very high. Social media is not just another place to post your press releases; you have to adapt the content to the platform.
Be authentic . Be yourself on social presences. It is your voice that is represented by each of your publications. If a team manages the social presences of the candidate, do not be afraid to indicate it on your social presences.
SOME IDEAS FOR USING OUR TEAM'S SOCIAL MEDIA TO SET YOU APART
- Make videos like the Old Spice campaign to answer questions
- Set up a website to answer consumer questions like McDonalds Canada
- Present your speeches live on the web and answer questions live from social media
- Display your social presences on your signs