As social distancing becomes our new normal, running a campaign can be a daunting task. So, we’ve compiled a list of the five best digital practices to make sure you don’t have to trade in momentum for health.
1. Stay engaged with your community online.
2. Harness the power of video testimonies.
3. Host a virtual event.
4. Move your traditional volunteer activities online.
5. Build relationships that will make people want to come back!
Use Facebook groups to stay in touch with your community.
If you haven’t yet, create a Facebook page for your campaign. Make sure to invite your friends to like the page and have them do the same. This is the home base for your digital campaign, where you will share virtual events, relevant news, and campaign updates.
You can also find like-minded individuals in your community through Facebook groups. Search for groups that already exist by looking up keywords like “X County Democrats” or “X Town Democratic Club.” Don’t hesitate to take a look at groups in support of former candidates and campaigns that are similar to yours. Begin engaging with these communities and tell them about your campaign, inviting them to like your page.
Twitter is a great way to stay engaged and keep up with local news.
If you’re campaigning on Twitter, you may want to share news articles that are relevant to your community. If you want to follow Indiana news, elected officials, government agencies, etc., we’ve created several lists on our Twitter to help you do so. All you need to do is go to the Indiana Democrats on Twitter, click the three dots in the upper-righthand corner, hit view lists, select the lists you’d like to follow, and click subscribe.
Videos are like 24/7 ads for your campaign; they’re the closest you can get to knocking doors without ever leaving your couch. So, create a few 30-second videos to share your story!
Tell people about yourself, what you’re passionate about, and why you are running for office. Ask your supporters to do the same, sharing why they think you’re the person for the job.
The great thing about video testimonies is that you don’t need to be a videographer to do them. All you need is a selfie camera and a story! This is about sharing the real you.
Post your videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
You don’t have to miss out on a chance to engage with your supporters just because you can’t see them face-to-face. You can utilize the power of video chatting to host online events.
Here are some ideas for online events and the best practices for holding them:
VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS
Invite people to come and share their thoughts on a topic that you are knowledgeable about. Share your ideas with them and let them know you are listening.
If you want to rally your supporters and update them on your campaign, you can hold a virtual rally. Be ready with what you want to say and provide them with actionable items at the end of your event.
You can do these larger events on a couple of platforms, but Periscope and Facebook Live are great options for bigger crowds. They allow people to type comments that will show up on your screen so that you can engage with them throughout the event.
We suggest scheduling these events through Facebook and sharing them on your campaign page. Make the event page you share has a clickable link to your virtual event so that your supports can easily get to it.
Always send a thank you email or follow up text message to the people who attended your event with any actionable items you want to share!
MEETINGS WITH VOLUNTEERS OR CAMPAIGN STAFF
If you need to meet with your team, you will want a platform where everyone can share ideas and give feedback verbally.
Zoom and Google Hangouts are great options for virtual meetings. They let you video chat with your team so that you can see and hear them. They also allow you to share your computer screen so that they can see anything important on your computer. We suggest asking your team to mute themselves unless they’re talking, so it doesn’t get too noisy.
Schedule these events through email to make sure it’s just you and your team.
Hustle, a peer to peer texting tool, that can help you reach out to supporters virtually. Hustle is offering services to help communities get in touch for free in the wake of COVID-19. Read more here.
VIRTUAL PHONE BANKING
Phone banking is as close as you can get to knocking doors right now. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to set up your volunteers with a virtual phone bank.
For help with building lists for texting or phone banking, please contact our Data Director, Megan McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As your digital presence grows, so will the number of people interacting with you online. Stay engaged with your supporters so that they remain engaged with you.
Respond to comments and direct messages from supporters and people with reasonable questions. Ignore any hate comments – don’t fuel the fire!
Encourage people to share their stories and really listen. Now is the time to show them that you are someone they can trust.