Last week, Senior Political Correspondent David Drucker of the Washington Times wrote about the GOP’s advantages heading into 2022 election cycle, including Republican voters enthusiasm to turn out to the polls in the upcoming midterm elections. He also notes the party, largely unified behind former president Donald Trump, is eager to chip away at the democratic gains made in 2020. So, what can we learn from the president who credits social media for his winning campaign? Warm up those thumbs – we’re diving in on what works and what doesn’t for political campaigns online.
Tweet Like Theres No Tomorrow
Twitter has long-dominated the political sphere as the go-to medium for communicating with constituents. Posts by Members of Congress to Twitter beat out Facebook nearly 2-to-1 in 2020 showing the platforms strong dominance as a political communications tool.
How did President Trump use the platform to his advantage? In the simplest of terms, tweet early, tweet often and follow these tips:
- In 2020, Rep. Chip Roy took the top position for tweets per day, averaging about 21 posts to the platform. For comparison, by the end of his term, President Trump was averaging over 30 tweets per day. Here is a breakdown of the president’s tweet frequency by year:
|2015, pre-candidacy (January 1 – June 15, 2015)||3,701||22.3|
|Candidacy (June 16, 2015 – November 8, 2016)||7,794||15.2|
|Transition (November 9, 2016 – January 19, 2017)||364||5.1|
|Presidency, Year 1, first half (January 20 – July 19, 2017)||1,027||5.7|
|Presidency, Year 1, second half (July 20, 2017 – January 19, 2018)||1,576||8.6|
|Presidency, Year 2, first half (January 20, 2018 – July 19, 2018)||1,472||8.1|
|Presidency, Year 2, second half (July 20, 2018 – January 19, 2019)||2,146||11.7|
|Presidency, Year 3, first half (January 20 – July 19, 2019)||2,814||15.6|
|Presidency, Year 3, second half (July 20 – January 19, 2020)||5,151||28.1|
|Presidency, Year 4, first half (January 20 – July 19, 2020)||6,014||33.2|
Posting Content that Excites and Engages Your Audience
What kind of content should you be posting? Anything, really. President Trump’s habit of tweeting between 4:00 am and 7:00 am meant that his posts often landed on the screens of every prime-time morning news show and dedicated panels of political analysts to discuss and debate his tweets in the 5:00pm hour and beyond.
Attack. In a stark contrast to presidents past, President Trump chose to take his opponents head on by launching ideological or, as we all know, personal attacks on individual politicians and influencers alike. While we at TCG are guided by firm moral boundaries and generally disagree with the former president’s use of personal attacks, you cannot deny its effectiveness especially during the 2016 general election cycle.
Tailor Your Content to Your Audience and Platform
In this space, Democrats easily outperform Republicans by dominating new media platforms like Instagram, Snap Chat and Tik Tok to name a few. Is it worth it for conservatives to compete with liberals on platforms that have a younger user base? That all depends on where your audience is, the likelihood of your audience to engage with and amplify your message. Determine the time and energy needed to maintain a presence on emerging social media platforms. Particularly with new social media, engaging surrogates and influencers to help amplify your message may yield better results than working to produce content that yields little to no results.
Mum is Not the Word
Perhaps the biggest change in political behavior over the past decade is constituent’s tolerance for “neutrality.” In this day and age, people expect to know a politicians position on the issues. Reiterating your position on the trending political topics of the day often is the best way to control the narrative on your position. You do not need expensive analytics software to know what people are talking about, just using Twitters standard “trending” search features for your area will give you a good idea on what topics people want to hear about.
How to Create a Wining Political Campaign Social Media Strategy
To recap, follow these simple steps as you head in to the 2022 election cycle:
- Tweet often, but do not neglect posting on other platforms.
- Tailor your content to each platform.
- Engage surrogates and influencers.
- Confront the opposition through facts.
- Be transparent, stand by your beliefs and reiterate them often.