Stay Organic in Your Political Campaign Outreach Strategy.
Don’t worry—we will get to how you can spend money effectively on ads. But first, one more tip on how to make sure voters come to you rather than block you.
In the beginning stages, focus on the quality, not quantity, of your online supporters.
How do you do that? It is hard work, but it isn’t complicated.
- Build an email list of everyone you know—your own email is a good place to start. If you have emailed someone or they have emailed you, this is your core list as you begin your campaign. As you will learn in upcoming ‘Digital Fact of the Day’ posts, you can “match” this email list to Facebook, Twitter and other channels, and also serve them ads.
- Every time you meet someone, ask for their card. At every event, have a sign-in sheet that includes email. On your website, have clear conversion paths that gather email addresses (like an endorsement form, a volunteer form, and once you get going, you can experiment with some simple online petitions that help you gather organic and opt-in emails).
- It doesn’t help to gather email addresses if you don’t enter them into a simple program that allows you to keep track of them. But make sure to follow up right away—it matters. If you get a card at an event, send a “nice to meet you” email from your campaign account that night.
- Build out your core social media communities—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, just like you would build them as a friend or neighbor. If you know someone, invite them to connect with you.
- We don’t recommend you do this with every voter, but if you have a meeting with a Town Committee Chair or an elected official or a key influencer, go ahead and follow them on Twitter, connect to them on LinkedIn, like their Facebook page and follow their Instagram feed. They will likely reciprocate.
- Post interesting and engaging content just about every day (more on that later).
- Use the powerful direct response tools built into social and digital media (more on that later).
- If you use other communities like Snapchat—great, go ahead and use them in your campaign. But you do not need to populate every single social network. Use the ones many of your friends and voters use thoughtfully and frequently.
PROTIP: Here’s a secret you should know: an enormous percentage of an online community is actually organized offline—at campaign events. Make sure every house party, fundraiser and campaign event begins and ends with a sign-in sheet so you are gathering emails and social media information.
Learn more on how to build a digital strategy for your campaign in the recently released e-book, 12 Must-Know Facts About Digital Media, by SpeakEasy Political founders Eric Jaye and Danielle Winterhalter.