How to campaign effectively on social media

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If you are a candidate or part of a campaign committee for a particular candidate, you will probably now have created some form of a presence on social media to promote your candidate.  Without doubt, social media plays an important role now as a vital communication tool.  Sure, some will say that in Papua New Guinea some electorates still do not use social media but for those in the urban areas, using social media is a vital tool.

We’re going to give you some of our tips when promoting a particular candidate through a Facebook Page.

Raise Relevant Issues

You must post content on issues that are relevant to the electorate.  By posting relevant content, you can get the attention of readers instantly. While posting relevant content is the ultimate goal, how you post it is critical.  Posting your content in clear and grammar free wording enables your content to be captured instantly.  Many social media users tend to browse through their newsfeed so it is important to catch them while they’re scrolling down their newsfeed.  Using catchy words to grab attention is one way making an user interested in your content.

Provide solutions

If you’re going to raise relevant issues with your readers, you need to provide solutions.  There is no point harping on about a particular problem if you don’t have an answer to it.  Ultimately, the candidate you’re supporting is putting his/her hand up because he or she has the solutions to the electorates problems so explaining how the problem will be solved is essential.

Explaining your solutions

Many candidates state they’ll do this and that if elected.  They provide some solutions to the electorates problems.  What they don’t say or do is elaborate on those answers.  For example, a particular candidate once said that he would stop land grabbing.  That’s fine but under current circumstances, how will that be possible?  What steps will he or she take to stop land grabbing?  Voters must not just be fed with problems, they must know the solutions and more importantly how those solutions will be realised.

Limit your self-promotion

It’s ok to promote yourself but there is a limit.  It’s ok to tell the voters you’ve achieved this and that.  But what the voters really want to know are ideas and solutions to the problems they currently face.  Tell the people who you are but do not continuously feed the people with what you’ve achieved here and there.  The more you promote yourself and fill the newsfeed, the greater the chance people will get sick of you and block you or “un-like” you.

Post Pics

Pictures are a great way to grab attention. And if the pictures are relevant to the audience, you know someone will like, comment or share it.  But posting pics without a caption is pointless.  Explain briefly what the problem is in the pic, the solution you have for it.  And if you like, you can get feedback from the audience on what they think about the pic.  Engaging with the audience not only provides you an insight into what people think about the issue you’ve raised, it’s likely that your post will appear in the newsfeeds of others.

Post Videos

Many social media users like watching videos and this is a chance for you to create a short video about one aspect of your electorate and post it on social media.  Facebook tends to favour videos which is why you tend to see more videos on newsfeeds.  It’s a more interactive way of promoting your candidate but make sure that your video is in good quality, is not too long and the message gets across.  Always remember that Papua New Guinea users tend to be cautious when it comes to data because the rates aren’t exactly cheap. So your video needs to capture the attention immediately.

Be aware of cyber laws

Just as a caution, do not post anything that may breach the current cyberlaws.  Everything you do on social media (and offline) should be legal.

Call to action

Finally, you want the audience to do something with your content apart from reading it.  You may want them to share the content online or offline or even invite them to attend a particular event where the candidate will explain some of the content posted on social media.

Hope the above helps you in some way during the elections and best of luck to all candidates!

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