After getting spanked in the 2012 election, and after what seemed to be an endless array of autopsies and postmortems all saying that one of the many, many, many things the Democrats kick our asses on is when it comes to digital media, it astounds me that so many on our side think digital means just “posting things on the internet.”

Yes, I get the mockery from other consultants and campaign professional when someone calls themselves a “social media director,” because anyone who is really Twitter famous can call themselves one and expect to be taken seriously. But digital strategy is the same as every other aspect of a campaign. There has to be a reason and a desired effect to everything you do, and you have to work synergistically with the rest of the campaign, particularly with traditional press side.

The reason why I write this because, while I regularly see things on the Facebook pages of campaigns than make me want to #headdesk my way into a concussion, there was one example that illustrated what I’m talking about. I don’t want to link to it (just to cover my own ass), but it was more than 200 words without a single paragraph, contained more ten lines of attack against the opponent, and one nice thing about the candidate that I barely noticed.

And it perfectly illustrates the difference between Digital Strategy vs. Just Posting All the Things

Just Posting All The Things
Campaign manager gives the intern who is good with computers all of the aforementioned to post. The intern posts it. A bunch of people like and share it.

Digital Strategy
Campaign manager gives the digital strategist all of the aforementioned to post. The very first thing he does is realize that no one is actually going to read a 200+ post and that most of your posts should be kept to between 40-50 words at most. If you can work down to tweet level, even better.

He then takes the info and turns each line of attack into A SEPARATE POST at least. Every tax increase, every back room deal, every waste of taxpayer money gets its own separate post. And instead of just posting words, each post has an accompanying graphic illustrating the point. You want it to grab their attention right away. Pictures do that more than blocks of text.

And while a bunch of people will like and share whatever you post, they aren’t the ones who matter most. It’s their friends who aren’t connected to you. It’s the people they share it with. They’re the ones whose attention you really want to grab, because they’re the ones you want to turn into supporters.

This is just one example using Facebook. It doesn’t get into all the other tools that a campaign can and should have at their disposal. But to understand what those tools are and which would be most beneficial to your campaign, that’s why you need someone who can focus solely on that.

It’s all why your campaign needs a digital director, and not just someone who posts things.


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