I’m always looking to see how people from outside of politics use social media to see how can I apply different ideas to a campaign…especially being a Republican in New York where we could use all the help we can get (quite frankly, I’m sometimes surprised they even still let us have our own candidates in the first place). One person I’ve been keeping an eye on lately is actor Stephen Amell.
If you don’t know who that is, you obviously aren’t watching “Arrow” on The CW Wednesday nights, which makes me feel sad for you because it’s one of the best shows on television. I’m also sad that it probably means you also aren’t watching “The Flash” on Tuesday nights, which is the other best show on television, but that’s hardly the issue here.
Amell plays the lead character, and when he’s not on the set firing arrows at bad guys and doing the Dawson/Joey thing with Felicity (if you need to stop reading and go watch the show, I’d understand), he’s in his trailer fooling around on social media. His is easily one of the funniest, most entertaining, most engaging Facebook pages I follow.
There are three key things he does that I think campaigns should copy…
— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) February 26, 2015
He Sinceriously Enjoys It – I’d say about 90-95% of celebrities and public figures, judging from what and how they post, only seem to do it because a publicist wants them to. Amell does it because he enjoys communicating with his fans and having fun with them. Communicating with voters is essential for candidates. Of course, I’m not advocating candidates do this all themselves. I mean, a) I’d be out of a job, b) you’re busy running for office while also having a job and a family, and c) Anthony Weiner. But you still need to be able to lighten up a little and be willing to try new ways to reach voters.
Constant, personal updates – Usually about once a day, he posts a video even if it’s just to say hi. It’s never just posts promoting all the celebrity stuff he’s doing as a celebrity, which is the political equivalent of “Here’s a picture and a ten word talking point…LIKE and SHARE if You Agree!” He’ll let people know about the day on the set, what’s going on in the WWE, funny things fans have send him, etc. He also does something different where he’ll be the one who conducts interviews with other cast members. If a candidate is willing and has the personality to do so (which I know is sometimes asking a lot), creative and daily personal updates can easily be adapted.
Facebook – Everyone claims Facebook is old and busted and is chasing the hot new social media thing, mainly so people write think pieces saying how “Wow, politician is using the hot new thing. He can social media better than you!” Amell still sees the power of Facebook and how it’s still king when it comes to building and engaging with a community. The same remains true for politics.
So, that’s how The Arrow likes to play and promote himself on social media. If you’re smart, you’ll steal some of his tricks.
John Brodigan is a digital/political consultant on Long Island, and has been “blogging” since the late 90s. He enjoys comics, rock and/or roll, the UFC, Long Island craft beer…and is obsessed with his niece.