Political candidates are using Facebook and its many features — from applications, tabs, platform integration, plug-ins and page analytics — like never before to get ahead of the pack in the 2012 elections.
The latest post in a series from the U.S. Politics on Facebook team, “Social By Design in 2012,” focuses on features that not just candidates candidates but also brands can add to their Facebook page or website to improve integration among their sites and interaction among friends.
Got a blog? Facebook suggests the comments plug-in. Or add a like or a share button to a candidate’s website so information can be shared easily among Facebook friends.
Apps and Tabs
The current frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary race, Newt Gingrich, is cited as putting tabs to great use on his Facebook page. Among the tabs Gingrich features is WayIn, a polling application, a volunteers tab, and a tab that helps supporters locate events in their state. The former House Speaker also uses video — pre-packaged and live Ustream videos — that can be shared among Facebook friends.
Presidential hopefuls aren’t the only ones using tabs to get a message across. Current Speaker of the House John Boehner added a “GOP Jobs Plan” tab earlier this year to highlight his caucus’ focus on job creation.
Facebook urges page administrators to use page insights and “talking about this,” both features for Facebook pages, to monitor engagement interaction.A side from providing the raw numbers, the data can help page administrators monitor the quality of engagement and relationships with fans over time — which is far more important than raw fan figures.
Democratic Congressman Sandy Levin of Michigan is one lawmaker, Facebook says, who is building these quality relationships with his constituents. He tapped into the concerns of his constituents by asking them to submit stories about their struggles with unemployment through a Facebook application.
Levin then spent several days posting the stories and responding to concerns of those who shared their experiences.According to Facebook, Levin’s fan growth – and his page’s user engagement – grew each time someone shared a story with a friend or commented on another person’s experience.
Readers, have you used any of the tabs or applications on political candidates’ pages? What about plugins on their websites?