– Do Facebook Live videos at every possible moment.
– Hold your phone vertically – not horizontally, to make videos. Yes, this is a change.
– If your video utterly sucks you can delete it instead of posting it. You can also delete the post anytime afterwards. However, audiences prefer the charm of an obviously homemade video to a polished canned video. You don’t have to be perfect to be popular.
– Any length works – from 30 seconds to 30 minutes – as long as your content is interesting and clearly needs the time to be fully explained or take place.
– Start with a human face on screen if possible. Don’t start with intro logos or long verbal intros. People want to feel like this is a slice of life.
– Make sure you end with a call to action – or add a call to action in the text of your actual post. You might ask for volunteers, donations, for people to vote, to get registered, attend your next houseparty, etc. Don’t waste a post on news alone, ask for action.
– After your video is posted, you can then turn it into an ad via FB ads manager. It’s worth it.
– Doing political work: (actually appearing to do the job even if you are only doing it as a regular citizen now) walking into city hall/state house, meeting with officials, giving testimony, marching/demonstrating, attending organizing meetings, town meetings, etc.– Being human: dogs, mowing the lawn, weeding, baking, sports, etc., nothing too braggy (sailing yacht, new car)
Make sure your Insta is a ‘Business account” and add links to your campaign email and web site to it.
Don’t share from Insta to Twitter because the photo won’t show up in Twitter. Better to post directly onto Twitter separately.
Take all your photos in ‘square’ mode and don’t be shy to edit them on your phone by making the lighting lighter or adding a slightly stronger color. Photos that pop are the ones that work best. Your photos don’t have to be the prettiest, but they need pep and personality.
Follow other candidates and routinely click to Like their best photos. People notice who you liked and follow. It matters.
HASHTAG YOUR BRAINS OUT. Instagram is the land of hashtags, people search by them and follow by them. A strong post has at min 6 hashtags and 10-20 is better. Hashtag using your town, your county, RIpolitics, RIdems, Progressive, ProgressiveRI, your name, and other words you might think reflect you #rhca, #ridems, #feminism #womeninpolitics etc
– If you are managing campaigns for more than one candidate, you can get a business account on FB and handle posts and ads from one account which is easier than logging in and out of accounts all day.
– Don’t be tempted by the ‘Boost your post” button. It’s the same thing as buying a reach ad…except it’s more expensive. It’s basically for people too dumb to know there’s a better way.
– FB ads require that you choose an “objective”. In Ads Manager you’ll see a loooong drop-down list of objectives. 99% of the time, you want to choose “Reach”.
Reach is the cheapest. It works for all forms of ads – yes even videos! (You don’t need to pick “view views” as an objective to get video views.) Humans in general don’t interact with political pages much unless they are trolls, and ‘Likes’ are not that useful for you, so don’t pick engagement goals. Politically reach is the most powerful – especially when done in conjunction with heavy offline marketing.
– FB ads also require that you choose location. Be sure to define location as “live in” versus “in” – you want residents, not just passers-by. You can select by zip code, by town or by state. You can also select by street address to drop pins around the edges of an oddly-shaped area so you are targeting your distract or ward.
– You can also choose other demographics – such as age. Key: the more demographics you select by, the more expensive your ad gets. So, only narrow down your focus (such as Spanish-speaking women aged over 25) if you have a specific ad that you ONLY want that population to see. Also note, people who are IDed as “politically active” may be trolls so you may not want to target them.
– Facebook wants to grab all your budget. So if you set your budget as a ‘lifetime total’ but only give a few days for the ads to run vs a ‘daily budget’ during those days, it may push out your ads harder.
– Want to really target FB ads?? You can upload a list of voters in your area by uploading a CSV file of names and then have your ads run to them (only them or a ‘lookalike audience’ of others ‘similar to them’ in the same area.) You do need emails or phone numbers on that CSV file for the system to be able to match those names with FB accounts. (The term for this is ‘retargeting’)
– Want to super target FB ads? Have your webmaster add the FB tracking pixel to all the pages of your web site and start compiling a target list of people with FB accounts who have visited you. Over time that’s valuable. Sure there will be trolls, but also probably a great list of people to ask for donations from via FB ads and paid for videos.
– Don’t delete trolls’ comments, instead “hide” the comments. The troll thinks their comment is still live and is less likely to get upset and make a stink.
– Always advertise during the days you are canvassing or an expensive mailer is hitting your area. Triple the impact of your other outreach.
– Competitive intelligence: you can now go to your opponent’s official political FB page and click on the menu (near the bottom) to see what ads they have run. All the ads they have run. It’s useful and fun. Only seems to work on a laptop or PC, not mobile.
– Want to flesh out your web site? A service called Rev.com will charge you $1 per minute of video to transcribe the video for you. Useful if you’ve got a longer video where you are speaking about important things. You can get it transcribed and then post both the video and the transcription together on your web site and call it a candidate’s blog.’ Works well for SEO (search engine optimization).
– Don’t use messaging like “Elect Women” as your main message EXCEPT for ads that run solely to women. It can backlash when shown to men. Because then you get the #merit and #wellactually and #notallmen crowd kneejerk bashing you.
– Don’t worry about ‘posting too much’ on social media. The only people who notice this are your spouse and parents…people who would notice your posts and be fed your posts by FB more than anyone else. If your mom saw you 10x this week on FB, the average person in your area only saw you once and only if you are very lucky.
– If you are super busy and want an easier way to manage posting to various accounts, try Buffer or Hootsuite – they are apps that let you do everything in one place. Yes, it does let you tweak the content depending on where it will appear.
Lastly – only registered, authorized users can post political ads these days on FB and FB-owned properties. You must register, including giving your SSN and postal mail address. You must also send back a postal card in the mail to FB. The whole process can take a few weeks. This is because Russia.
How Andrea Manages Social Campaigns for Multiple Campaigns at Once
This may be useful for anyone who intends to help a lot of people. This is her unique process.
1. Politician emails or texts me the post (or does live video).
2. I edit the video intro/outro if needed or amp up the color in the image.
3. I do some wordsmithing of the copy.
5. Adespresso (app) campaign I’ve set up instantly makes an ad out of the post.
6. *New: I go into Facebook Ads Manager and check the box saying it’s political content.
7. I order the captions/transcripts from Rev.com ($1 per video minute.)
8. Uploads the captions to the video in Facebook.
9. Embed the video on the web site and adds transcript after editing it..
10. Add post to Hootsuite (or Buffer app). Optimize it for each social channel. Schedule the posts to go out. Can schedule 2-3 weeks of posts at once.
Post 3x per day.
Make your posts look good on mobile.
Start from Instagram.
Do Facebook Live Videos.
Become your own reporter. (People are losing the conscious awareness of what they saw on TV & what they saw on social.)
● “Candid” post: you being a real person
● “Official” post: doing things that make you look important, e.g. shaking hands with the governor, public speaking, interviews, etc.
○ Vertical Video (If it’s not a video, can we make it into a video using slides, animation, etc?)
● Use non-stock photos/videos. Be real.
● Faces usually do best.
● No more than 20% text on images. Try to keep text close to edges. (Also best not to use too much text if you have an intro to your video.)
● Mix in some black and white, HDR, or other things that will stand out.
● Try to do 2-3 videos per week that are Insta friendly (<59 seconds).
● Do timeless posts. Don’t include time (“Yesterday”, “Today”) unless it is essential.