Tag Archives: Social Media

How to Discuss Politics on Social Media

It’s often said that there are two topics you should never discuss at the dinner table–religion and politics–in order to keep conversations civil and polite. Social media users never got that memo, however: According to a study published by the Pew Research Center, more than 30% of social media users feel “worn out” by politically-oriented posts, and over half of them characterize digital interactions with people of opposing political viewpoints as “stressful and frustrating.”

Political conversations on social media become even more likely for people like me who have made careers out of politics and campaigning, so you quickly learn how to turn these moments from stressful and frustrating to rewarding and informative. Take a look at some ways that you can responsibly and politely discuss politics on social media!

Consider Your Purpose

Whenever you post on social media, whether it’s about politics or not, there’s a reason behind each post. You might share a photo from your vacation to let everyone know you had a great time on the beach, for example, or you might want to post a status inviting people to an event you’re hosting. When you post about politics, keep your goal in mind. Are you trying to raise awareness of a particular issue? Are you trying to declare your support for a candidate or a policy? Are you trying to change people’s minds or to see what they have to say? So, before you post, think about the purpose of the post and how you can best communicate it.

Stick to the Facts

The best political arguments–as in arguments that are well-constructed and well-phrased–rely on evidence to support their claims. If you refer to the dangers of a certain proposed bill, for example, make sure that you have the most up-to-date information about it and that you’re laying out that information for your digital audience. One of the best ways to do this is by including links to articles, videos, statistics, and other sources in your post so that people can educate themselves on the issues.

Never Make it Personal

If people are already going to be agitated when they encounter political posts on social media, you don’t want to fan that fire by insulting them. Don’t fall into the trap of calling someone stupid just because they don’t understand or agree with you and avoid blanket statements like “Anyone who supports Senator Smith is an idiot.” While these comments might momentarily inflate your ego, talking down to someone who disagrees with your point of view doesn’t help spread your message or convince people to change their minds. Instead, being insulted will only make people dig in their heels and turn what could have been a positive discussion into a screaming match about politics.

Of course, it’s OK to disagree with someone’s opinion and to tell them so, but don’t do it by insulting them. Always keep your focus on what they have to say about the facts, and avoid typing out of anger.

Join Private or Closed Groups

One way to ensure political conversations never get out of hand is to keep these discussions to small circles of informed, respectful individuals. Consider creating a private group and inviting people you trust to ensure that people will remain cordial even when opposing viewpoints are being discussed. You can add more people to the group as time goes on, but starting off with a select few will give you an opportunity to share ideas in a respectful space while also developing your skills discussing politics on social media.

Getting the Right Tools for Your Political Campaign

In the modern political age, technology is the backbone of any campaign. Well designed tools allow your campaign team to share information easily and efficiently and make well-informed decisions as you approach Election Day. Putting the right tools in place can make building your campaign effort that much easier as the weeks progress.

Opt for mass communications

Mass communication can be incredibly beneficial when running a campaign. It’s one of the oldest tricks for political campaigns and it guarantees that people know your name. Send flyers to the people you want to court for votes and take advantage of targeted advertising of commercials throughout your district to ensure candidate visibility. During this process, you want to make yourself incredibly visible so people recognize your name when they go to the polls.

Utilize social media

Since the 2008 election, social media has been a main component of political campaigns. Many voters have some kind of social media account, particularly millennials, so you’ll want to figure out your target audience and what platform they use. Create media and content, such as digital ads and videos that appeal to your voters and don’t forget to frequently update your social media. President Trump utilized Twitter during his campaign, so the masses understood what he thought about various issues and events. Senator Cruz also used social media to his advantage, carefully targeting younger voters through his accounts.

Work on door-to-door

While this tactic isn’t as popular as it once was, you cannot replace face-to-face interaction and personal contact. Take time to get out into your district and meet your potential supporters. Do this regularly and create a relationship with them. Voters will be more likely to support you if they feel they know you personally and you’ve made an effort to show you care about them.

Hold campaign events

Host regular campaign events that allow supporters and undecided voters to hear you speak in person or ask questions. You can also use these events as fundraising opportunities, so you avoid having an under-funded campaign.

Stand out from your opponents

A huge part of a political campaign is convincing voters that you’re different from your opponent. There are a couple of ways you can go about this strategy, by either focusing on the good you’re doing or on the negative aspects of your opponent. President Trump made sure he used this strategy while running against Hillary Clinton. He consistently compared himself to her and asked voters who they felt was more trustworthy or would do a better job on particular issues.