Ohio Political Candidates can rock their social media with Idea Girl MediaPut Your Big Toe In

So, you’ve filed your petition at the Board of Elections, ordered signs, scheduled your newspaper ads, and you’ve assembled your campaign team.

Now what?

You’re probably calculating the most effective way to engage your constituents and make word travel fast!

Social media, right?

Before you get all excited about figuring-up your Facebook and torquing-up your Twitter, you need to know…there is a lot to know.  Things change in the social media-sphere quickly.  And we’ve seen a lot of recent shifts!

The good news is, they are all changes to your benefit as a candidate on the November ballot in 2011!

Getting Your Big Toe Out

Lets get the “big klunky toe” of misconceptions out of the way:

Social media is not a “build it and they will come” thing.  You have to have all your phlanges and limbs in the dance, so when the music gets groovy you can be “shakin’ it all about!”  What is meant by that?

Social media is not static, it’s kinetic (meaning it goes somewhere).  Social media is not broadcasting – It’s a two-way communication.

Social media is about nurturing relationships, creating brand ambassadors, and letting your brand ambassadors spread your message…online. (Let that one roll through your head again).

So, engaging your constituents.  Very similar to what politicians have been doing offline for years!  So then why do I see so many static websites with stale social networks?

Put Your Best Side In

That’s right – Even effective “websiting” has changed.  It is about pleasing the search engines and doing what works to get your text to the top of the Google list when your constituents search for information.

What’s working?  WordPress formatting with a blog attached.

Put another way:

  • Own your domain and get hosting service.
  • Set the website up with WordPress architecture.
  • Include more than just a ‘Donate Now’ page.
  • Put a blog – YOUR BLOG – right at your website.

Yes, you should be blogging — showing thought leadership.  You should be regularly creating content that lets your constituents know why they should vote for you.  So they can share it as your brand ambassador.

You win twice – You please your public, AND the search engines.

Check Your Best Side Out

There is some very special math above in that four-item list with an active blog. It creates your social media embassy.  Your constituent relationships HQ.

Pretty groovy, eh?  Your own online embassy!!

So, how do you host a rockin’ social media embassy?

First, lets look at some big dogs doing it well:

Second, lets explore a few facts about them:

  • They have all recently converted to WordPress.
  • They all have blogs (sometimes many) hosted right there on their site.
  • They have a decent following, and their readers are highly engaged.

A few stats they already know:

  • Companies with blogs attract 55% more website visitors.
  • 46% of consumers trust traditional media less than 5 years ago.
  • 51% of people read blogs at least monthly.

As a political candidate, shouldn’t you be using that information to your best advantage too?

Social Media is as easy as doing the Hokey Pokey with Idea Girl Media

Shake It All About

Maybe you weren’t prepared for blogging?  Not sure what to do?

Here are some suggestions for creating a blog that will engage your constituents:

  • Use Social Plug-ins — Connect your social network profiles to your blog.
  • Post regularly — No less than once per week, daily is best.
  • Encourage response to your posts.
  • Invite guest posts!
  • Go picture crazy — Let the people see you in action.
  • Embed video in your posts — Cisco makes the very handy Flip Video.

As easy as the hokey-pokey, right??

Be A Social Media Rock Star!

Remember: Embassies and outposts.

The most important thing Ohio political candidates can do to super-charge their social media in time to impact the 2011 November ballot is to start their blog…NOW. Lets bring it home…

Just like your campaign headquarters, build your online social media embassy:

Contact me to reserve your spot on my guest post calendar.

Did I miss anything above?  Who can offer suggestions to those seeking to be Ohio elected officials?

Still have questions about blogging?  I can help!

Please post your questions below… :)