It should come as no surprise that social media can make or break campaigns–and for good reason: 48% of U.S. adults take in at least some of their news from social media, making it one of the most widely distributed news sources in the nation.
The opportunity to engage opens conversations in a very different format from print or broadcast media, allowing both supporters and detractors to exchange views in a fishbowl-style forum. At the same time, this opens the field for you, and your opponents, to meet voters in the field and apply a personal touch to your campaign.
On a micro-level, campaigns are broken down into a series of conversations: Debates, discussions with other politicians in your field, and even one-on-one discussions between constituents. In this way, social media offers a unique opportunity to direct the tone and tide of an upcoming election.
Linking social data through NationBuilder allows you to target the different audiences that play into your success, building the foundation you need to get specific and act locally.
What is Social Data?
Social data is, simply put, any information that social media users publicly share. This data includes their usernames, pictures, and content, but also includes key data points for your campaign strategy.
In addition to what they willingly share, social data also encompasses “metadata:” Things like post times, locations, user languages, age range, and more–all accessible through most social media platforms that gather this information.
While polling can provide information about your target voter demographics, social data offers a much wider net and will help you better understand the most effective ways to distribute information for your upcoming elections.
Key points of social media data collection include:
- Demographic profiles for your following. This data will help your team isolate who your campaigns are reaching, where your most loyal voter base lies, and what areas you can improve in.
- What content gains the most interaction. Do your followers resonate with your images, or do they prefer to receive information via video marketing? Do blog posts catch their eye, or infographics? Knowing which posts garner the most engagement will free your team to focus on that type of content.
- When your posts get the most engagement. Keeping a pulse on peak times for your base to interact will power more hyper-focused campaigns. Consistent posting at days and times when your base is most active will increase your impact.
- What are your top-performing posts? Which specific posts did your audience have the most active and positive engagement with? This data is crucial for deciding what pots to spend money boosting–and which ones are best left to your native channels alone.
How Social Media Data Is Important To Your Campaign
As is the case with most business strategies, social media campaigns are best utilized when informed by high-quality data. Social data comes in many forms, from likes to follower counts, clickthrough rates and more–and all have a role to play when it comes to deciding the outcome of most elections today.
Facebook alone has nearly three billion active monthly users. The problem faced by your campaign, then, is not only what to say, but who to engage with. Different social media platforms cater to diverse demographics, and targeted ads within these groups reach a wide array of audiences. Deciding which bases to cover and where to apply your efforts is just as vital as the information you choose to distribute, but there are multiple methods to help make data-driven decisions on this front.
Social data comes in many forms, and they all have different elements to contribute to your campaign’s overall success. Monitoring a range of factors can help you and your team understand what works–and what doesn’t.
Implementing Social Data for Your Campaigns
Social data, once gathered, allows you to build an actionable, results-driven plan to reach your goals. A robust roadmap will help you better understand the steps to creating a more effective pre-election strategy.
- Know your KPIs. Your Key Points of Interest, or KPIs, are metrics that you want your social media to improve. If your goal is to raise awareness of your mission, shares and overall follower growth may be good KPIs to focus on. If your message is already out there, perhaps your team can pivot to working on positive engagement and conversations around key points. Your focus can–and should–evolve as your campaign progresses.
- Gather data. Using a data tracker is important to assess your KPIs and track them as your campaign progresses.
- Implement targeted campaigns. Utilizing a tool such as NationBuider, use your social data to build voter profiles and create targeted campaigns to address them on a local level. You can build different campaigns based on different voter profiles and address the concerns and preferences of multiple bases at once.
Using Social Data with NationBuilder
NationBuilder is a comprehensive tool for driving voter interest and winning elections. To this end, social media integrations via NationBuilder make it easy to incorporate social data into your campaign to achieve optimal results. NationBuilder excels at this via Facebook, where this powerful tool can help you identify groups and reach your constituents locally.
Identify Interested Voters
Access a list of all users who have interacted with your Facebook page, isolating them by location or even posts of specific interest. From there, you can see which voters are most interested in your campaign right now–and most likely to engage with and share your content. Search parameters allow you to build hyper-targeted mailing lists and even cross-integrate this information with your email campaigns if you have this contact information. Knowing who’s excited about you–and who isn’t–helps create more powerful word-of-mouth and organized canvassing efforts.
Anticipate Needs & Build On Support
Gathering social data, especially when it comes to keywords and hashtags used, is key for social listening. Social listening keeps a pulse on the conversation, allowing you to know what your constituents are most invested in hearing. Buy paid media and boost native posts using Facebook Ads, and utilizing NationBuilder’s data to make sure you’re reaching the right people at the right time to get the most bang for your buck.
If you have excited and passionate followers on your email or volunteer lists that aren’t on your Facebook, NationBuilder can help you to identify them and ask why they aren’t engaging with you on social media. Invite them to be part of the conversation and encourage them to share how and why they’re some of your most avid backers!
Take Advantage of Social Data
Social data is an invaluable asset to your campaigns. When it comes to isolating specific groups or hitting engagement targets, social media offers unparalleled insights and opportunities to hear your voters and get in on the conversation taking place. If you’re not currently taking advantage of this data, you’ll surely fall short of your full potential: It’s likely that your opponents are already analyzing not only their followers but yours as well.
Social media for campaigns doesn’t have to be complicated. Reach out to NationBuilder today an find out how our comprehensive ecosystem of tools and data can help you build the strategy your mission deserves.