Running A Human-Centered Social Campaign

Running a human-centered social campaign is paramount to running a successful campaign. The key to managing a social program that connects with your audience is by centering your posts around human beings. Last month, we presented at the Ohio Young Democrats’ Operative-U development program on the fundamental “do’s” and “don’ts” of good a social post. Keeping your content relevant, engaging, and appropriate is the first step. Be thoughtful about who the intended audience is, why they should care about your post, and whether your post is respectful or problematic.  

Social Media is a Two-Way Street

Social media is unique from any other marketing tool, because it allows you to have open communication with your supporters. When establishing your campaign ask yourself: who are you concerned with talking to online? It’s important to take advantage of the efficient back and forth communication that social media platforms offer. Be connected and engage with your supporters by asking them about their jobs, families, and other things important to them. Above all, your supporters want to know that you care and engaging with them on social media is a simple way to show that you do. Reply to their comments, like their replies, respond to their direct messages (within reason). A social media program that looks stale and boring is a program that isn’t good. Communication must be a two-way street.   

Be Authentic

Authenticity is essential when it comes to running a human centered social campaign. When brainstorming content, try to think of sincere ways to convey your message. How are you using social media to help people understand just how genuine your candidate is as a leader? Let your followers know that your candidate truly stands up for them, thinks about them, understands them, and will fight for them.

Thinking through your candidate’s authentic voice will also help you troubleshoot posts that may be read as tone-deaf, uninformed, or insincere by your audience. Every candidate is different, and not all trends or topics may be logical or appropriate to utilize. For example, posting a meme on an account for an older candidate with a more serious social tone may easily be interpreted by followers as inauthentic.

Be sure to post about normal everyday life — a stroll with the kids, throwing a football around, or walking your dog. Your supporters want to see that you’re just like them and hold the same values. Adding hints of your candidate in every post helps your message come off as more genuine, and your supporters will appreciate that. Politicians can often turn into these larger than life celebrities, but keeping an authentic voice for your candidate allows your followers to make a connection that feels meaningful.

Tailor Your Approach To Your Platform

We all know that different social media platforms yield different results. Facebook has sophisticated algorithms that allow you to target users based on their location, demographics, and education, which ensures that your post appears on the right feeds. Facebook also has many useful tools for community building like Groups that can be used for volunteer management or fan pages, which can be helpful for campaign message distribution.

Instagram is an excellent platform to experiment with creativity. IG Live is a great tool to create interactive experiences with your supporters, highlight your causes, and hold discussions. Instagram Stories is another useful tool for interacting with your supporters. Instagram also has a cool sticker feature that lets you host quizzes, ask questions, and conduct polls. If you have over 10,000 followers you can take advantage of the swipe up feature and link to external content. 

Twitter allows for direct, rapid engagement with your followers. Give your followers opportunities to engage with you by tweeting about things that are important to them. Ask questions, respond to people, and retweet other tweets. Interaction and engagement will pay off and allow your message to reach a wider audience due to the Twitter algorithm. 

The Upshot

Your supporters want to see that you’re a real person and that you care about them. You should be thinking about who your audience is, what they care about, and why. Being human-centered means running a social program that is authentic, empathetic, and thoughtful.