Digital Organizing Tips & Tricks
It’s important to know that a lot of political activists are on Facebook, so that even if you prefer other platforms, someone should be maintaining the Facebook site. It’s free to have your supporters ask their friends to like the political Facebook page, and that helps more people see the page.
For whatever activity you have coming up, create a Facebook event. Gathering on a Saturday afternoon for door knocking? Make it an event, and tell people when and where to go. Phone banking? Same. Fundraiser? Create an event. Gathering a group to walk in a parade? Let your supporters know where and when to line up.
Make your Facebook events “public”, and add it to the events page on your campaign Facebook page. Some campaign pages do not have an events page, in which case it’s a good idea to add one. Your supporters can look there to check on upcoming events. Your event can be added to the campaign page as a post as well, and encourage supporters to share it on their personal pages. Your page probably allows you to “pin” a post, so that it always appears at the top – at least until you take it down after the event.
USING TWITTER & INSTAGRAM
Learn which web-based media people in your district or organization are using. If people use Twitter, consider asking someone in the organization to start a Twitter account. Ask them to check the Facebook page, and re-post links to events and other interesting posts. Some candidates prefer Twitter as their starting point, and link to Twitter when posting on Facebook.
If you want to attract younger volunteers and voters start an Instagram account and post to it regularly.
USING ACTIVATE IOWA
Go to Activateiowa.org and add your event to the statewide events calendar there. You may pull in a few new people – people who didn’t know to look on your Facebook page, or who who are not on Facebook. People use Activate Iowa as a resource when travelling around Iowa to find events, and your loyal supporters can use Activate Iowa to check on the location and time.
YOUR WEB SITE IS YOUR ONLINE INFORMATION HUB
Create a campaign website, and update it regularly. Most campaigns find this the hard part, but a significant portion of voters and activists do not use social media. Our observation is that the group that will look at a website or read an e-mail, but aren’t on social media is older, but includes many people who are still very active and participate in door knocking and phone banking, for instance. Almost all of them vote.
USE HTML EMAIL
Use Mail Chimp, a free subscription, to create eye-catching e-mail communications. At all of your events, and on your website, ask people for their e-mail addresses, and keep a list. Make your e-mail communications newsy and interesting. Include pictures. Tell them something new about the campaign. E-mail should be about making people feel part of something exciting, not just about donating.
TAKE PICTURES AND USE THEM EVERYWHERE
In all of your communications, include pictures. Think in terms of groups of people gathering for a purpose, rather than pictures of people listening to a speaker at an event. For that matter, show people having a great time, so that other people want to join in. Think of digital communications as a way to inspire people to join the group and get involved personally.