No matter what industry your business is in, you cannot ignore the importance of social media. There are many different strategies of marketing including search, web design and PR but by far social media is the quickest and easiest way to interact with your consumers.
Politics is no exception. It has long been told that politics is only associated with the older generation and social media is very much a young person’s game. So how could the two be possibly interlinked?
(Image from digitaltrends.com)
The fundamental goal for politicians and MPs is to talk directly with voters, and social media allows you to do this. You can gauge the mood of an election, find out what the hot topics are of a constituency, and tap into the younger market of 16-25 year-olds that have been, for some time, hard to reach.
An online blunder can be hazardous to a campaign and the downside to social media is that a gaffe can be made to last forever because once it is online it’s lost in the World Wide Web. You can of course take a tweet down but if someone has taken a screenshot, this can be shared around the globe via retweets.
Because you can directly communicate to voters, politicians need to realise that they too can be directly contacted. They are only a click away from a volley of abuse, so they need to be able to take whatever comes their way.
One recent example included politician John Prescott and Conservative MP Grant Shapps. Prescott sent a tweet directed at Shapps, accusing him of advertising Thai brides on his Tory website. He was referring to a Google AdSense ad that had been installed on the website.
“RT @johnprescott @PSbook ads r rendered based on previous browser use– Found a bride yet John? > wouldn’t mention to your Mrs!”
Shapps 1- Prescott 0.
Overall, social media is a very valuable tool for all sectors and therefore it shouldn’t be overlooked by people working in politics. As with anything in life, it has its pitfalls but Facebook and Twitter are excellent ways of interacting with consumers.
If you get it right, you can harness the power and get your message across to thousands of people; but if you get it wrong, you could lose votes.