As a candidate, what is your purpose for putting your political campaign online? Is it to get the most number of ‘Likes’ to your Facebook page? Is it to get a larger number of Twitter followers than you opponent? Is it to get your campaign ad video on YouTube to go viral? Is it to get the most number of visitors to your campaign website?
If those are your goals for promoting your campaign online, then you are missing the point. The goal – the only goal – for political marketing is to get votes on election day. The ways you connect with voters is simply a matter of reaching them where they exist. People watch television and listen to the radio, so candidates run commercials on them. People search for campaign and candidate information online, so a website is a vehicle to provide that information. People use social media to communicate and share, so candidates should have a presence there, as well.
The difference between traditional commercials and the web is that the web offers two-way communication rather than one-way message broadcasting. Social media is all about getting voters to know, like and trust you. If people are interested in you and your campaign, they will keep up with the campaign through whatever channels work best for them. It may be through newspapers, watching TV ads and local news, through the web, or a combination of these channels.
It doesn’t matter if you have 50 or 50,000 social media followers. Don’t let those numbers distract you or get you thinking that online success alone will win your election.
In the end, your goal is to get real people into a real voting booth. Everything else is just a numbers game.