2018 looks to be a landmark year with the number of democratic candidates declaring for the November 2018 midterm elections. It is also a year of unprecedented civic involvement in grassroots politics. The Women’s marches in 2017 and 2018 gathered millions of people across our country and the globe to protest Trump, but more importantly to stand up for those not able to stand up for themselves.


This seems like a match made in heaven, right? So much passion and energy to do the right thing and help move our country forward on social issues like health care, equal rights, immigration while keeping our country a financially sound player in the global economy.  

The challenge is bringing together inexperienced candidates with new activists in ways that make meaningful connections. There are 435 US Congress races happening in November. In addition, there are many other state and local elections. Social media now plays a huge part in our political process as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now the only way many Americans get their news. Social media connects us to people all over the US and as a result, activists are much more open to the idea of supporting candidates who aren’t running in their local area or their state.

As an activist on Twitter, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with several campaigns and interact with multiple candidates. Twitter can help with name recognition, fundraising, connecting locals for support for canvassing and phone banks, and promoting local candidate events. In order to do that, candidates must make effective connections with people who are willing to volunteer their time to promote them.

Here are some things candidates can do to improve their twitter profile and attract social media volunteers:

  • Have a bio that tells the story. First item should be: Party, Candidate for what race in what state, short personal bullets.
  • Have a website that clearly states your platform on important issues. Be specific on local and national issues. People who want to support you that are not local want to know where you will stand on national issues. Link your website to your profile.
  • Pin a tweet to the top of your profile. This tweet should be about you as a candidate and include a link to contribute to your campaign. This is the first thing people see if they click on your profile to learn more about you. Make it count. 
  • Follow people who are local and national figures. Search for hashtags like #NCResists, for example and look at the accounts using that tag. Follow those accounts, most will follow you back. Look for local indivisible accounts as well as traditional democratic organizations and follow their twitter accounts.  
  • Tweet daily about your campaign and political events with your commentary. If your account is not active, people will stop following and engaging with you.  
  • Monitor your mentions for supporters who are sharing your story. Thank them.
  • Monitor the replies to your posts. Respond to the ones who are supportive. Thank them and include a link to your website so they can learn more about you. 
  • Answer sincere questions that are posted.  
  • Ignore the trolls and haters.  
  • Ask your followers to help. In Twitter, you can have direct messaging groups of up to 50 people. Invite your supporters to participate in a room dedicated to helping get the word out about your candidacy.
  • Be considerate of your volunteers. Most of us have full time jobs and families we have to take care of.  

2018 can be a banner year for the Democratic party. The Blue Tsunami can happen with meaningful connections through social media as part of the overall campaign strategy!

#Resist

- Storm

 


Follow Storm on Twitter @StormResist