With a contentious U.S. Presidential Race coming up, every candidate seems to searching for anything that will give them an edge on the competition. And while the race will ultimately be decided at the polls, the battle for the public’s good graces is increasingly being played out on social media and television (as is evident from The Donald).
So running a series of bland commercials and uninspired local events is probably a recipe for disaster.
There’s a huge opportunity here for political campaigns to leverage their online audiences for real world engagement. Through our work at SocialRank, we’ve seen countless brands successfully run local events through analyzing their social media follower data. Brands find a mix of their biggest, most influential, and most engaged fans in a particular city and invite them to any events their running.
We’d love to start seeing politicians do the same. Here’s how we see them accomplishing their campaign goals with SocialRank.
1. Finding Their Biggest Followers in Specific Towns
Pundits frequently use turnout at campaign events as a proxy for how much a particular town likes a candidate. When organizing these local events and rallies, having this type of “IRL” (in real life) engagement could give a candidate the edge in a hotly contested region.
With SocialRank, you can reach out to your biggest followers in these towns. Just filter your followers by location, then sort the list by Most Valuable. Now you have a list of your biggest followers in that small district in Wisconsin that you have to win.
With this knowledge, you can Direct Message (DM) that follower on Twitter and ask them if they’d like to help spread the word about the campaign’s upcoming rally (or if they wanted to come to the event themselves).
This isn’t a new tactic– outreach and endorsement like this is common in almost industry, including politics. Yet SocialRank minimizes the search process and lets you focus more on the relationship-building aspect of your work.
2. Finding Highly-Engaged Local Supporters
Another effective tactic: communicate with your most engaged social media followers.
On SocialRank, after you’ve filtered your followers by location, you can also sort them by Most Engaged. This organizes your follower list based on who has in the past week retweeted, favorited, replied to, and mentioned you the most. To fine-tune even further, you can apply the Bio Keyword filter (using terms such as “Republican,” “Democrat,” “conservative,” or “liberal”) to keep the signal-to-noise ratio high on your search.
When you find these local supporters, a DM or @mention from the candidate hoping to see them there can be the difference between a good turnout and great turnout. One person with 200 followers might not seem like a lot but when you find 200 people that fit the criteria, having an extra 40,000 people to megaphone a message to can add up!
3. Finding Local Press
All of the best supporters, big and small, can do very little if you don’t have the right press coming to amplify the message. Finding reporters that follow you and are locally-based can help get the candidate’s message to the right people.
Using SocialRank, you can use the Bio Keyword filter to find followers with the word “reporter,” “editor,” “journalist,” “producer,” or “writer” in their bio to come cover the event. Sending them a DM on Twitter (and maybe even offer a 1-on-1 interview) might go a long way. Media plays a huge role in American politics, so to ignore this potential outlet would be foolish.
So there it is – three ways that politicians and their campaign staff can leverage social media to get the word out.
We’re always looking for ways to make SocialRank better. If you have any product feedback or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to hit us up at [email protected] – we really do listen!