Politicians and political organizations were pretty much enigmas until recent years. They only connected with the people they were representing in a handful of ways. Television appearances, newspaper interviews, and public speeches were common. What there was far less of, however, was connecting with people on a personal level. Or in a medium that was easily accessible at all hours of the day, on countless devices.
The social media boom has happened, and those in politics have refused to miss the boat. They’ve established a presence on various social forums and then nurtured it. Just this month we watched the two frontrunners for the next American Presidential election have a spat on Twitter! Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton engaged in a brief but dramatic argument via the social media side. It was something that many generations have never seen before.
But they’re not the only ones at it. A whole variety of individuals and corporations are doing the same thing. Barack Obama has his own Twitter account. Activist think tanks, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,have their own Linkedin pages. In the UK, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has joined Snapchat!
The question is, why? And what lessons can you and your business take away from this?
They have total control of the output
Oftentimes, journalists and broadcasters are able to twist people’s words to suit their own agenda. As a result, when politicians do interviews, they are rarely able to fully confirm that the words they said will be the words that reach the public. However, when they have their own teams managing their social media efforts, they have total control.
Social media gives them a human voice
Something that politicians, in particular, were lacking up until recently was a human voice. Social media, however, has given them this. As a result, there are now able to engage with the people in a way that is relatable- even friendly. They can pick their tone, be that be comedic or serious or tongue-in-cheek, and give themselves a personality.
It allows a connection with a huge and varied audience
Generally, social media allows for a real-time connection with younger people. However, different ages can be reached more via different social media sites. Twitter is popular with older generations, while Snapchat tends to be used more by teens and young people. A presence across all the different sites allows for a connection with a huge and varied audience.
It demonstrates that they are modern and ‘in’ with the times.
Finally, using social media is a simple yet fantastic way to demonstrate that they are ‘in’ with the times. It shows that they are current, and present, and well-connected with reality.
This combination makes social media a real winner for those in the world of politics. But the exact same principles can also apply to those in business. Businesses can control the information that is out there about them. They can connect with their consumers in a human way, and they can reach a whole new audience, even ones previously untapped by them. Politicians, business owners and individuals; everyone stands to gain from the social media boom.