Facebook for Political Campaigns
May 6, 2020
In today’s political arena, an online presence is an essential part of any campaign. With seven in ten American adults on social media, platforms like Facebook for political campaigns is an invaluable way to make connections with voters, supporters, volunteers, and donors.
When you make the leap and run for office, mastering campaign outreach via social media can be tricky. Luckily, we’re here to give you a helping hand! In this post, we’ll go over some of the best practices for engaging with users on Facebook for political campaigns in a way that is effective, efficient, and strategic. Let’s get started!
Why Facebook for Political Campaigns?
Using Facebook for your campaign is strategic. The platform is by far the widest reaching social network in the United States and therefore should be the one your campaign spends the majority, or all, of its social media time and attention on. If you only have time for one social media platform, it should be Facebook. You might have a great personal Facebook friend group and following, which is an awesome start. But using Facebook for your campaign is going to be a little different. If you don’t use Facebook often in your normal life, that’s okay too. Regardless of your level of experience, we’ll help you craft a winning social media strategy.
Considerations for Posting on Facebook
Once you’ve set up your campaign’s Facebook page, it’s time to create a plan to reach out to voters. One of the biggest considerations in using Facebook for political campaigns is the algorithm or formula that determines what followers actually see. As you’ll know if you use Facebook personally, users don’t see all posts by their friends and pages they follow on their newsfeed. That would be too overwhelming. So, Facebook has a computer algorithm as a set of rules to determine which ones they see and which posts are on the top of their newsfeed. Facebook’s algorithm uses a few pieces of data to guess which post a user wants to see and shows them in priority order. On average, only six percent of your page’s followers will see a given post. Understanding the algorithm and designing content with it in mind can help you get your posts to be seen by as much as 10 percent of your followers.
Major Factors in Facebook Algorithm
Facebook’s algorithm uses four primary factors when considering which posts a user will see:
- Inventory: The posts available to show to a user.
- Signals: The amount of likes, shares, comments, and interactions a post already has. It’ll also consider who posted the content, when it was posted, the content type (video, graphic, etc.), and other factors.
- Prediction: Facebook wants you to interact with a post. Before they show you anything, they predict how likely you are to engage with it.
- Score: Facebook takes all of these other factors and assigns a post a score. The higher the score, the more likely it is to be shown to you.
When and How Often Should I Post?
It’s important to determine the timing and frequency of your posting. This will be slightly different for each page, so you need to test what frequency and timing is right for you and your audience. As a rule of thumb, you should post on Facebook at least once a day. The beginning and end of your campaign are times to ramp it up a bit – maybe aim for three times a day if you have that much engaging content to share.
Early stages of your campaign are a good time to be on the higher end. High engagement helps you expand your audience. Once a day will keep you in folks’ feeds and should be manageable for you. In the final weeks of the campaign (known as the Get Out the Vote stage), throw these rules out the window. During this stage, you’ll want to post as much engaging content as you can, especially during the final week before the election. This way, you can remind people to take the time to volunteer and vote.
What Should I Post?
When you’re posting, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and think about whether it’s something they would want to see and react to or share. Your posts don’t need to be fancy. You can just use your iPhone, or share a Facebook Live video of yourself walking down the block, knocking on doors, or speaking up on a key issue at a public meeting. But, be sure to mix it up, see what your audience reacts to and engages with. In addition, try to keep posts short and to the point. Users scrolling through their feed won’t want to stop and read a dense post. Videos, photos, and short updates about the campaign’s progress will be more palatable.
Facebook for Political Campaigns
Facebook is a critical element of a modern campaign operation. By sticking to these best practices, you can make sure your campaign has an online presence that helps you engage with people in your community. Without a doubt, Facebook is the most important part of your digital strategy and it can also be really fun.
Best of luck and happy posting!
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