Political candidates should attract more fans by growing their Facebook Page as an online community!This was a question I received from a political candidate wanting more fans for their Facebook Page. 

The insights will be very similar for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits…

About The Political Candidate

  • From a small town in the Midwest.
  • Business background, small business owner.
  • Works in an industry labeled “high-growth.”
  • Receives a considerable amount of local media coverage.
  • Has more than 1000 Facebook Friend connections.
  • Represents constituents for the largest division of it’s type for the area.

Facts About Their Facebook Page

  • The Page is one of a few hundred for the local area.
  • Fan numbers just over 200.
  • Fixed specific Page Likes (other Facebook Pages).
  • Activated Tabs: Wall, Info, Photos, Discussions, Questions, Events, Notes, Video, Links, FBML.
  • Fan engagement is “minimal to some.”
  • Updates to the page are made daily and up to a few times a day.

This specific political candidate did not note themselves as the Facebook Page owner through the Settings function.  This is neither correct or incorrect, but allowing this to be visible could generate extra reference for fans.  The candidate retains a policy of transparency and has a solid, positive reputation within the community.  In this situation, I would recommend they note themselves as the Facebook Page owner.

What They’re Doing Right

  • Updates are mostly about community members or community events — Not them!
  • Utilizing the Questions feature to gain community feedback.
  • Posting jobs information & links to additional details.
  • Tags businesses and individuals appropriately from both their Personal Profile and Facebook Page.
  • Pictures of the community are evident in the Picture Banner across the top of the Facebook Page.
  • Periodic invites to potential fans that might find interest.

Social media is not broadcasting, it’s a two-way communication.  It’s about them…not about you.

All of the items above are the foundation of a good, fan-centric Facebook Page. {{YAY!!}}  🙂

Where They Can Improve

  • No Welcome Tab (increases visitor-to-fan conversation from 23% to 47%).
  • No Email Opt-in Tab.
  • No evidence of  a blog with fresh, informational content – Establishing credibility, attracting constituents.
  • No evidence of links to emails to constituents inviting them to the Facebook Page.
  • No clear incentive to “Like” the Facebook Page.
  • The Avatar is a small headshot – Not utilizing the full banner space for a “call to action” to like the Page and explore the Tabs.
  • Absence of a logo or theme for branding.
  • Pictures and Photos are under-utilized.
  • Video of the candidate is absent from the Facebook Page.
  • Events Tab not utilized – Live fan capture not happening from this energy.
  • Notes are not being used in place of Blog content.
  • Status updates are not necessarily made at peak times for fan engagement.
  • Posts to the Facebook Page are infrequently made as questions – Which would invite fan engagement.

While I’ve provided quite a list of things to work on, let me note that this Facebook Page is well-maintained in many respects.  In addition, for the local area, 200 fans for apolitical candidate or an elected official is high.

At the same time, all of the items on the list above are fairly easy to remedy.

Considering campaign season is upon us, the list above should be top priority to optimize effectiveness of social media reach to achieve votes on election night.

Facebook Ninja Secrets

Anyone that has campaigned for office will tell you it’s a 24/7 job.

Anyone that has won an election and intends to stay in office will tell you it is a 24/7/365 endeavor.

…Just like courting and winning customers as a small business owner or entrepreneur.

…Or earning supporters as a non-profit.

So, it is important to note that for political candidates, the Facebook Page is something they should utilize all year round — not just a few weeks before election day!

Here’s why:

  • Facebook can be a catalyst for transparency – Transparency is wanted; it is key.
  • A Facebook following takes time to develop…and keep.
  • “Viral” spread of any message happens from large enough Fan numbers to trigger the reaction.
  • In order to get enough fans to spread a message, the message must first be seen.
Did you see the last item on that list??
It’s true…

Every Facebook Fan Page competes for fans, and competes for a place in your fans’ news feed.

If your Pages does not have a high enough EdgeRank score, your posts and updates are NOT going to be seen by your fans.

Note: I’ve found a slight tipping advantage at 500 fans, and then a considerable difference at 1000 fans.

How Do You Attract New Fans To Your Facebook Page?

  • Utilize your Facebook Tools & Resources found on Tabs.
  • Treat it as an outpost of your frequently updated Blog.
  • Invite & encourage through regular, value-based emails.
  • Treat it as an…………..Online Community!

What questions do you have about EdgeRank?

Do you agree or disagree with the lists above?

How do you plan to make your Facebook Page an online community?

Please tell me below in the comments box…  🙂