Influencing politics via Facebook

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There was once a time in politics where having your voice heard meant it had to be loud, it needed to constant, and if placards and chants were necessary to capture media attention, that was even better.

We now live in an age where so many passionate people and causes are vying to get the attention of politicians that they are becoming immune to these war cries.

This is one reason why more and more individuals, groups and organisations are turning to social media campaigns to project their issues into the political landscape.

Facebook allows likeminded people to band together, no matter what their resources or geographical location, to voice their opinions and promote action.

At Clarity, we use social media strategies to create campaigns aimed at growing and engaging significant audiences online in order to leverage issues with politicians.

These strategies have proven to be an effective way to coalesce diverse audiences around a common goal, and to demonstrate a growing level of support to politicians from start to finish of the campaign.

The initial power of an online community lies in its ability to communicate directly and instantly, making it simple for people to converse with each other, exchange views, and then encourage action.

In the past, these conversations usually occurred regularly between small groups of passionate people, and less frequently whenever large meetings or protests could be organised.

Facebook has changed this approach completely.

To effectively gain the attention of a politician and work towards changing their view, you must begin with a well thought out social media strategy.

In a public online forum like Facebook the conversation is continual, reaches more and more people as it grows, and encourages participation by individuals even if this is as simple as a like or share. The growth in an online community, the conversations that are being conducted, are all highly visible to politicians and their staff –clearly demonstrating to them the support for a pertinent issue.

When an online community responds to a request to take direct action then politicians are left in no doubt about the level of interest in an issue. Online community members can be encouraged to make their views known to politicians on social media, via email, by direct contact, via the traditional media, in protests or by many other means.

Taking the time to grow a substantial online community means that organisations have access to a substantial resource of people power.

The media are also quick to notice the growing scale of an online community and use this as the measure of passion for, or importance of an issue. They will also use the discussion and debate in these forums as content for their news stories.

Among the most powerful tools in an online political campaign is social advertising. Facebook’s ability to clearly identify audiences by interests, demographics and geography gives you the ability to promote your posts and calls to action direct to similar audiences and encourage them to join your campaign, thereby further increasing its impact.

By definition it is a politician’s duty to be a representative of the people, and for the people. They don’t have to agree with a cohesive and engaged Facebook community, but it is hard to ignore one. So social media has become a powerful and persuasive tool in influencing political minds.

For an example of one of our recent campaigns check out our case-study for the shack communities at Wedge Island and Grey. To find out if you could use social media to raise awareness for your cause and influence the political landscape, contact us now.