Rowdy friend and regular visitor Kelly Groehler’s new guidebook to using social media in political campaigns, LIKE: Seven Rules and 10 Simple Steps for Social Media in Your Campaign (in Politics, Business or Otherwise), is hot off the digital presses. Available now in paperback but later this month as an e-book, it’s dedicated to the premise that any candidate, cause or organization that ignores social media today does so at his/hers/its own peril.
And, P.S., relying on your son or daughter to run your social media campaign just ain’t gonna’ cut it.
So Groehler, while a 2010-2011 Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, joined three other researchers in studying the use of social media in the state’s 2010 gubernatorial race. Their conclusions drive a set of seven rules and 10 basic steps in how to begin using social media in your own campaign.
Independent candidate Tom Horner and campaign staffers for Republican candidate Tom Emmer and Democratic governor Mark Dayton provided candid background information to Groehler and her fellow researchers: Dave Ladd, president of RDL & Associates strategic consulting firm; Greg Swanholm, senior constituent advocate for U. S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Bass Zanjani, deputy district director for U. S. Congressman Keith Ellison.
The key word in the work’s title, LIKE, reminds us that today’s internet stars user-generated content; positive response to that content can be your best campaign message precisely because it is not seen as political propaganda or one-way messaging. However, the flip of this proposition is equally as powerful: unflattering tweets, Facebook messages or YouTube videos can drive a negative force from which a candidate never recovers (think of the aptly-named Anthony Wiener).
LIKE is designed for the novice user of social media and thus, can begin the discussion of why social media matter, what investment of time and resources they will take (no, they’re not “free”) and where to begin in planning an effective template that incorporates social media with traditional media channels.
And the most important take-away of LIKE should be this: campaigns today really are conversations. They involve give and take, multiplied by 800 million members of Facebook.
Follow the LIKE effort on Twitter @LIKESEVEN10.