One of the toughest accomplishments is winning an election to a political office. It’s doubly hard when you have little name recognition and a small advertising budget. Thankfully, there are many modern tools that help you defeat the odds and get your message out there among the noise.
With more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook (and growing), it is likely that many of your constituents are using this social media platform. To reach them, you simply have to place some ads on Facebook and get your face and name in front of them on their feeds.
Okay, it’s not really all that simple. But if you follow the steps below you will see your campaign become more successful through Facebook ads in no time.
SETUP YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
If you haven’t already, set up your Facebook political page right away. You can’t run ads without a Facebook page. Make sure that your page has all of your information, positions, pictures, and is regularly updated with content (especially pictures with voters from the field). This is your platform to present yourself to constituents on Facebook and win them over for your election.
IDENTIFY COMMUNITY PROBLEMS
Local elections are often won or lost based on a few specific issues. Typically these issues revolve around business, environment, jobs, or even corruption. Finding out what issues your demographic cares about and appealing to those on your page can help drive traffic to the polls in your name.
There is even a whole tab dedicated to just this on your political Facebook page. It’s labeled ‘Issues’ under the lefthand bar. This will allow constituents to easily access and see your views on local matters, and help get your name and position out there.
UNDERSTAND DISTRICT INSIGHTS
Facebook has created a page called ‘District Insights’ that helps political candidates and governmental officials familiarize themselves with current political issues, posts and articles in their represented area. This is an easy-to-use tool that requires no work from you, so why not utilize it? It could help you understand your demographic better, and therefore better appeal to their interests and needs in your ads.
PAY ATTENTION TO CONSTITUENT BADGES
Another neat feature Facebook has added to create a civic engagement platform on social media. Constituent Badges are an opt-in feature that users can utilize to communicate with their government officials, and political candidates. These badges will appear next to their name in the comment, and make it easy for you to identify which comments and questions are coming from the people that you represent. This will help you once again familiarize yourself with the needs of your constituents and create ads that are purposeful to them.
CREATE YOUR ADS
Now that you’ve built a presence on Facebook and started to build a community, it is time to start pushing your ads! Here you need to get picky with your ad settings; the goal is not to appeal to everyone, but to the people that care about the issues you support. Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to choose who sees your ads (so you can appeal to a certain demographic with certain topics). You can also target geographically so that you make sure to appear in the feeds that matter in your local election.
KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR MESSAGE
Once the ads are running, make sure to stay on top of constituent engagement. If your ad directs to your website’s blog, for instance, make sure there is a comments section and have someone check up on this constantly to ensure no comment or question goes unnoticed. Also be sure to check up on your Facebook page as people will be clicking through to that as well, and possibly posting or commenting there. You’ll want to ensure that you have a presence that is easy to communicate with and responsive to see continued engagement from your demographic.
This is a process that takes time and dedication – but Facebook has taken strides to help improve civic engagement, and you should take advantage of it! Using these tools will help a small, local candidate have a presence and make themselves known to the community. With just a small advertising budget you can reach nearly every person in your town many times over. So, what are you waiting for?