Five ways elected officials can gain followers on Social Media

Politicians are constantly looking to talk to more and more people.  After all, that’s in our job description: get our message out as much as humanly possible.  That being said, many of us suffer from relatively low follower counts.  The only way that Social Media works is by making sure you are communicating with enough people, so here’s the question: how can you grow your following?  How can you make sure that you are talking to enough people?  Here are some thoughts:

1)  Put your SM presence everywhere:  And I mean everywhere.  Website, newsletters, Email signature, letterhead, etc.  Even your business card; mine has all my SM information on the bottom.  Doing this cross-marketing will not only ensure that people have your SM contact information, but it will help drive the point home that you are an active Social Media user.

2)  Paid ads:  Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, you may be able to use state, campaign or personal funds to advertise your Social Media presence.  This is probably most effective with Facebook, where you can target people by location, age group and interest.

3)  Active use & conversations:  No one will ever find, let alone follow, your Social Media if you don’t use it.  Even better: interact.  Have conversations with your constituents.  Make regular and consistent updates.  Do not make the classic and common mistake of only using your Social Media to push out your press releases. Social Media is defined by it’s interactivity, and as elected officials, we are supposed to interact with our constituents.  As such, interact!  The more you talk, the more likely others are to find your sites.

4)  Participate in other conversations:  As you interact with others on pages not just related to you, your name will get out there more.  The more that happens, the more likely others are to find your page and follow you.

5)  Content is king:  The type of content you publish is critical.  As such, don’t just be self promotional.  Talk about your community, other elected officials.  Share personal information about yourself.  Do NOT just use your Social Media to push your accomplishments.

Those are some of my thoughts; what are yours?  Let us know in the comments!

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