A non-election year means your messaging needs to pivot toward legislative objectives and how you are making an impact as an elected office holder. This is especially important in keeping your audience politically engaged after an unprecedented election cycle. Post-election fatigue is real, and it’s critical to remind your audience that the battle isn’t over post-election! In doing so, you’ll drive engagement and retention rates that promise a strong base in ‘22.
In addition to shifting your messaging, take advantage of this time to demonstrate your value to your supporters by showing how you are making an impact. Utilize visual aids and video content to keep your campaign’s value and impact consistently visible to your audience.
In consistently demonstrating value, your supporters will be more responsive to you when election season comes back around and you’re looking to drive mobilization. This means more conversions and increased ROI.
The stakes are relatively lower in non-election years, which means this is a great time to test out new strategies and take calculated risks. Study your audience, and learn from user behavior to test out new tactics for increasing engagement and conversions.
Conversational marketing is often overlooked, but experts predict that conversational marketing will drive digital conversions in ‘21. Focus on building stronger relationships online by engaging with supporters in the comments and replies sections. This open dialogue adds a human touch to your digital presence and demonstrates to your audience that you are listening.
Social media audiences are increasingly socially conscious. They expect candidates to take real action. Use social media as a communications tool to show your audience how you are tackling these issues both in session and in your community. Not sure where to begin? RMC recommends starting with clean graphics and high-quality video content, which are crucial to successful storytelling online.
60% of businesses plan to increase their Instagram budget in 2021. As Instagram continues to play a larger role in the online political discourse, it’s increasingly critical to include Instagram posts, stories, lives, and reels in your social media strategy. More importantly, it’s becoming increasingly costly not to include Instagram in your organic budget. In 2021, take advantage of the visual components of Instagram to exceed your social media goals.
Many campaigns experienced a pandemic-related loss in revenue in 2020. This means paying special attention to organic content is more important than ever. Campaign budgets may struggle to convert grassroots donors who have lost their jobs, but a lack of fundraising doesn’t mean your digital campaign is doomed.
Most people are spending more time on social media these days, which means more organic potential. Consider using organic content more frequently for list building, fundraising, and mobilization. While your ROIs will not be as high as paid content, this organic push can help fill in the gaps where this economic downturn has taken a toll.
Again, it’s entirely likely that your campaign may be faced with budget constraints in the coming year. Knowing this, find ways to engage and mobilize your audience by using their own content. User-generated content is a great way to retain page fans and demonstrate the strength of your campaign. It’s also a great way to encourage “free” advertising for your campaign events and values. By retweeting and sharing users’ pictures, videos, stories and relevant posts, you’re illustrating the heart of your campaign while adding humanity and relatability to your social media feeds.
While growing your audience of supporters is a key goal for any campaign, retaining your audience and keeping them engaged in an off-year can be difficult. Invest in tactics specifically designed to retain and or re-engage your audience. This will ensure a strong base of supporters and increased awareness of your campaign message during the next election cycle.
With more social media usage during the pandemic, it’s important to make sure your audience is seeing your content consistently. Virtually every campaign is heavily invested in social media during this time, so it’s important that you’ve placed enough content to rise above the noise and actually be seen by your audience. Take time to develop a robust social media schedule that is consistent, on-message, and relevant to your campaign goals.
Studies show that engagement metrics aren’t always telling the full story. Many users passively engage with content without clicking a like button or leaving a comment. When you analyze reach and view metrics more closely, you begin to see a different picture of your social media strengths and weaknesses.
The largest growing social media audiences are older users, retirees in particular, but most social media strategies are still targeting younger audiences. It’s time to create content that speaks to all age groups, not just the youngest audiences.
According to Twitter, a tweet containing a video is six times more likely to be retweeted. Video content is becoming dominant on social media in generating engagements. Utilize this time to invest in video strategy before gearing up for ‘22.
One way to retain and mobilize supporters for ‘22 is to create community groups specifically for previous volunteers, donors, or yard sign aficionados where they can share political content and get excited about the next campaign. Engagement retention is increasingly important in the digital age. Identify your key supporters, and invest in keeping them mobilized in non-election years.
Instagram stories are an effective tool to generate lots of quick, easy, and engaging content without “spamming” or overwhelming your audience. Use stories to promote campaign and community events, share UGC, and give real-time insight into the campaign.
Hashtags effectively connect your message with a larger conversation, especially on Twitter and Instagram. In doing so, hashtags can dramatically increase your reach. Despite this, hashtags can sometimes decrease the level of engagement your posts receive. When posts have “too many” hashtags, or weak hashtags, users tend to disengage.
So, when and how should you use hashtags? Consider the specific post and your specific goals. If your goal is to join the larger conversation and build awareness, use a strong (trending) hashtag. If your goal is to drive conversions, consider skipping the hashtag. Remember to consider the tradeoff between reach and engagement.
Interactive content is a great way to engage, retain, and educate supporters and constituents in a non-election year. Create social media polls, contests, and games to keep your followers invested in the campaign and effectively convey your message.
Studies have shown that graphics that include humans substantially increase engagement levels. Like our tip about a socially conscious audience, it’s important to demonstrate the humanity behind your campaign. Use pictures of your candidate, staff, volunteers, and the community frequently to boost the relatability and emotion of your digital movement.
Want to increase engagement? Ask for it! In a world of social media overload, sometimes it takes a hard ask to get your point across. Directly asking your audience for engagement (retweets, clicks, etc.) will not only increase engagement metrics, but it will also show your target audience that you value their presence and participation in your campaign.
Collaborating with like-minded campaigns is a great way to increase reach and engagement while simultaneously demonstrating your movement’s values, mission, and priorities. To get started, do research and start engaging with groups that share a similar purpose. Join in on their conversations with quote Tweets, shares, and comments. Once you’ve built a relationship with these groups, you can work together to develop mutually beneficial social media campaigns.