Ohio Political Candidates can rock their social media with Idea Girl MediaRight around the corner is the May Primary, and the 2011 November election isn’t all that far away!  This is the third in a series of thirteen on how Ohio political candidates can really make the most of their social media and get voters to choose them on the May and November ballot.

So far, we’ve discussed:

Noooowwwwwww it’s time to talk about the social networks!


With more than 500 Million users, it’s likely your constituents are hanging out there.  Facebook is also very easy to navigate so it will be the easiest place to engage your audience.  It is becoming the online passport, so it connects well with other social networks too.  Like the backyard barbecue of social media.

Plus, there are many options to make your Facebook Page stand out and get your message to the masses:

  • Custom Tabs.
  • Events.
  • Clobby Chat – Your own online chat space.
  • Video.
  • Tagging – Now in status updates AND in comments.  🙂
  • Facebook Plugins – Connect well with your blog and other sites to lead people to your Page.
  • Facebook Like Button – Can be put almost anywhere now!
  • Facebook Ads – A demographic-reaching opportunity all on their own!

There are so many details, we could discuss each of those features individually!  Facebook just keeps ramping them up for your advantage.

The G String: Facebook Ads offer an inexpensive way of advertising with a very specific ability to reach exact demographics. You can’t find this anywhere else.  Period.

Your Amp: New Facebook Like button features lets others spread your message by posting their likes of you and your Facebook Page on their wall and in their news feed.  This is an incredibly great development just in time for election season!

There’s more than just Facebook…


The coffee shop of social media.  But, despite it’s 140 character casual reputation, this is a place where relationships can ignite….if you tweet your twitter well.  Here, sharing is caring.

That means: Not simply broadcasting.


  • Ask questions.
  • Re-tweet others’ tweets with links to valuable information.
  • Get involved in #hashtag conversations.
  • Promote yourself only about 1 out of every 12 times you tweet.

If all you’re doing is tweeting out self-oriented phrases, the Twitterverse will tune you out!

Exploring Twellowhoods will allow political candidates to connect with their key demographic.

I see Twitter as a perfect place for politicians to support each other, and gain exponential lift on their messages if they collaborate.

Idea Girl Media dubs LinkedIn the "dinner party of social media."


This social network has just reached 100 Million professionals.  Not the crowds of Facebook, but still worth writing about!

The professional vote also counts.

In turn, you can use your professional profile to help build your credibility:

  • Attach your resume.
  • Upload a Slideshare presentation to explain your position on a hot topic.
  • Describe your professional specialties.
  • List your skills — A new feature!
  • Post rave reviews of your work – Highlight what others are saying.

LinkedIn Groups gives you a terrific place to exchange ideas with professionally-minded people with social influence.  Find a few relative to the causes you are passionate about.  Then jump in the conversation – genuinely.

Flooding the groups with your campaign slogan is annoying and considered spam.  You will not gain fans doing that!

LinkedIn Answers allows you opportunity to display your expertise to others by providing them helpful insight.  You can even earn stars for the best answer — Adding credibility to your LinkedIn profile.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question to provoke interaction.

Real value can come from interacting on LinkedIn…It’s like the dinner party of social media.

Another social network to consider sort of screams “political candidate network”…


A Wikipedia of Questions – Anyone can ask any question that is not already posed, and solicit answers.  It is also based on personal authenticity.  So, you might get answers to your questions from the CEO of a large, influential corporation or a lobbyist from Washington, DC.

Consider asking questions about controversial debates, hot national topics, or….even yourself.  A calculated effort would rally social influencers to ask and answer questions about you and your political campaign, and link that content to your other media.

Get your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn audiences to follow you there, and you are the trend-setter!  Quora is young, and now is the time to claim your place and shine!

Take a look at a good example: Michael R.H.Stewart.  His profile picture is professional, yet approachable, and he’s asked and answered some questions that establish him as a leader in his field.

I see Quora as a medium to reach those that are thought leaders, very career oriented, and connoisseurs, if you will, of social media.  These are folks that could help you promote your campaign if you prove yourself a worthy candidate.

I once defined Quora as “The Super Bowl of Social Media.”  Here, we might call it the wine tasting of social media. 🙂

The Right Music For The Party

You are unique.  Your political campaign should be individual to you as a political candidate.  All of the above are a good place to nurture relationships and convince your constituents to vote for you in May, and hopefully again in November, 2011.

It’s a matter of choosing the right social networks and right mix of engagement for your cause.

Need help creating your social network profiles?  Formulating a Facebook Ad?  More importantly, engaging your audience…?  I’m happy to help!

I’ve strummed the guitar long enough – Now it’s your turn to sing!

What questions do you have?

Did I leave something out?

Please tell me in the box below…