In recent years, social media and politics have become intrinsically linked. While once viewed strictly as the domain of teens and young adults, social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have become increasingly popular among middle-aged and elderly individuals. In addition to helping candidates secure the youth vote, social media sites now function as effective tools for reaching older demographics. That being the case, it’s important for your campaign to remain at the top of its game on the social media front. To ensure that your social media efforts go off without a hitch, take care to enlist the services of a social media manager who possesses the following qualities.
Solid Understanding of the Social Media Landscape
It practically goes without saying that you’ll want your social media manager to be extremely proficient in social media. Not only should this person actively use social media outlets to connect with friends, family members and business acquaintances – they should understand how to utilize them for marketing and promotional purposes. By extension, your ideal applicant will possess a solid understanding of each site’s individual strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to utilize each one to maximum effect.
Excellent People Skills
Your campaign’s social media manager will be in charge of responding to questions, concerns and statements from voters who reach out to you through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. With that in mind, the person you hire should possess excellent people skills. You’ll need your social media manager to treat your followers – and your detractors – with the utmost politeness and dignity. Someone who offers glib responses or incites arguments with people will ultimately do your campaign more harm than good. A single social media slipup can instantly send your staffers into damage-control mode. Since this person will be acting as your mouthpiece on social media, any unbecoming behavior on their part reflects poorly on you. Throughout the hiring process, keep an eye out for applicants with backgrounds in public relations or customer service.
Background in Writing
Your social media manager will also be responsible for getting your campaign’s message across to voters all over the web. For this reason, the ideal applicant will be proficient in composing snappy, on-point posts that encompass the campaign’s core values. Not surprisingly, people with backgrounds in speech writing and business writing tend to make fantastic social media managers. In some cases, social media managers are called upon to make updates to campaign websites and compose news stories and blog posts as needed – so having a strong command of the written word should place an applicant at the top of the list.
Candidates who want to thrive in the digital age can’t afford to overlook the prominence of social media. As the Pew Research Center reports, social media outlets have had far-reaching effects on communication patterns, news consumptions and, most importantly, politics. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that a candidate who swears off social media is ill-suited for modern-day campaigning. To maximize your campaign’s online reach, bring an experienced social media manager into the fold.