For the first time in the history of humanity, 150,000,000 people are CONNECTED in one place! Facebook is more than just hype – every online business and politician needs to know how to use this social platform. In this post I will describe our experience with running a Political Campaign on Facebook. From our experience, Facebook pages tend to experience a Snowball effect once a critical mass of supporters has been obtained.
Create a “Politician Page” – Build the politician presence on facebook by creating a facebook page. Don’t use a personal profile which is commonly used by many marketers.
The fact is that not many people are aware that when they will reach 5000 friends they will no longer be able to add more friends. So start your marketing move in the right way!
Important – The type of the facebook page needs to be a politician, so people will join the fan page as “supporters” and not as “fans”!
Try to create the politician page under a business account. Sometimes when you open the facebook page under your personal account, if you get blocked by Facebook, you can say goodbye to your facebook page too!
Pick the Right Team – If someone knows how to surf the internet it doesn’t mean they will know how to maintain the politician page! Many times, the teams that maintain the page do a poor job which influences the politician’s appearance on Facebook. You better let someone who is a Facebook expert handle it (he must know FBML & have marketing skills).
Report Fake identities and Fake Pages – Frequently, users will create fake pages in the hopes of gaining a large mass of new followers. While it’s a rational strategy in the short-run, it’s clearly against Facebook’s terms of service. If you see fake fan pages or accounts you can contact the Facebook team and ask them delete the fake pages/ identities and move their friends to your official Politician page. Those fans that were previously fans of the fake user will now be moved to your fan page, effectively increasing your support base.
Get A Contact at Facebook – Sometimes you will need support from Facebook. This is why you should have contacts inside the company. You’ll get answers and you’ll get them fast! The Facebook team has helped us many times. It was great and it was a time saver! When you run a political campaign every minute counts!
Pick a Good Title for the Facebook Page – The most important thing when you open a Facebook page is the name you give it! After you open it, there is no way you can go back and modify the name of the page! The name of the page influences search results, and people will search for the politician, so you better be on top of search results or they will miss you!
If you want people from other countries to reach your Facebook page, you better name it in English as well as other languages. In this way you’ll get more exposure in many countries. While managing the campaign for a politician who ran for Prime Minister, we tried to reach many countries by naming the page in 2 relevant languages.
Plan Strategic Updates for Supporters – Don’t leave the page like a dead meat!
Create a coordination between the marcom team and your facebook team, so every press release will be sent as an update to the supporters. Some political campaign teams don’t send updates with a strategy and the supporters “feel” it!
Make Sure Campaign Managers Are Aware of Facebook – Many times campaign managers don’t use Facebook for one reason or another. For example, many campaign managers have privacy concerns regarding Facebook. Don’t argue with these managers because it is a lost battle! Many times the head of the political campaigns are really afraid of social networks and stick to the old ways of doing internet advertising by using banners on major sites.
If they are not using facebook THEY WILL NEVER understand what the point of using a facebook page is! It’s a lost battle, so you better know who you are dealing with before using Facebook for a politician campaign.
(Editor’s note: You may want to reconsider supporting a campaign that’s not in favor of using Facebook.)
Creative Banners – Most users that maintain facebook pages are not that sophisticated with creating page’s appearance. Facebook page admins must know FBML and put some great graphics in the page. Many use just put pictures, videos and that’s it. Without banners, Facebook pages can look lame and unprofessional. That’s why you should research the most effective Facebook pages in the Facebook page directory.
Social Ads – Drive traffic to your Politician’s page using Facebook ads and make sure you use the “social ads” configuration to connect your ads with your facebook page. Many marketing managers are not aware of this powerful engagement tool which can influence other people’s decisions.
Monitor the Page Daily – It’s important that you monitor fan pages for hate messages and other, troll-like comments. Delete hate messages and make sure that you have a clear strategy that is publicly stated to handle comments. Some comments may not look good for you but other users will answer them. In this way you encourage a conversation among supporters.
Sam Goldfarb is the founder of Tradimax. Tradimax provides Facebook marketing services for clients who want to use Facebook to achieve greater brand awareness.