Tag Archives: Grassroots

Social Media Has Nothing to Do With Facebook or Twitter

Brian Solis wrote an article back in the summer of 2007 about emerging social networks. That was before Pinterest was founded, before Spotify crossed the pond, and before anyone had ever heard of Twitter. That was when Facebook only had 20 million users and Myspace was valued at $12 billion. In the five years since then, plenty has changed. We can be sure the social media landscape in 2017 won’t look anything like it does today.

Mr. Solis has four important points that are paramount for local candidates to understand.

“It’s about relationships and it’s about people.”

Strategy and tactics are meaningless if you don’t have invested supporters who already support your campaign. Successful online outreach depends on meaningful offline relationships.

“The conversations that drive and define Social Media require a genuine and participatory approach.”

Genuine and participatory aren’t words you usually hear in the political conversation. To win trust and votes online, you need both. If you’re not that way in day-to-day, you won’t be genuine and participatory¬† online.

“…In the era of social media, people also have amplified voices and are now a powerful channel of peer-to-peer influence ‚Äď for better or for worse.”

Some people are more important than others. Go find and convince the influencers to support you. What matters isn’t what you say to an influencer, but what they say to their peers.

“Today, conversations are markets and markets are conversations.”

It’s no longer about messaging, it’s about curating conversations. Give your supporters great reasons to talk about you and they’ll do the work.

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Our Biggest Assumption

Voters Act is predicated on a significant assumption.

We believe voters are willing to participate in Democracy if given the opportunity, and the reason many haven’t is because campaigns never thought to ask.

Now, that asks for clarification on two points.

What does participation look like?

Participate means get involved, and it can involve researching two candidates, putting a bumper sticker on your car, or fundraising on a campaign’s behalf. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s that politics has been a hassle. But if we knew more about a race, if we trusted a candidate, then we’d tell our friends, vote, and even contribute $25 to a campaign.

Why haven’t voters been asked to get involved?

Many campaign managers would argue they ask for help all the time, but it’s not true. Grassroots engagement has been limited to neighborhood canvasing and attending local rallies. That’s been the norm because it hasn’t made sense to ask anything more, and the people who helped rarely came back to help again. It became easier to buy a television ad to reach a neighborhood than to organize a half dozen volunteers to knock on doors.

But that’s not the case any longer. Campaigns don’t have to be dull, and they don’t have to be expensive.

The recent incorporation of social media into our personal interactions allows friends to network around a candidate. This means one member of a community can instantly influence who everyone else supports. It also means the ROI of engaging grassroots supporters online has never been higher.

That’s what we’re trying to do here at Voters Act.

We want to give voters new tools to support the candidates they trust. We want to give candidates a way to get their supporters more involved.

-Hudson Baird

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