The so-called Facebook Apocalypse is upon us. But despair not. If you want to continue using Facebook as a viable voter contact tool then you need to turn your attention to Facebook Live.
I spent half of last week at Social Media Marketing World and I walked away with three key insights for political candidates.
And yes one of them is that you need to start going Live on Facebook if you want to reach the voters.
One of the things I’ve always said as a consultant is that I’d never ask a candidate to do something I’m wouldn’t do myself.
That said, this past Saturday for the first time ever, I went live from The Campaign School’s Facebook Page.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about this, you can watch the replay here.
I’ve also uploaded the video to You Tube and you can view it below.
You can read my thoughts on the importance of embracing Facebook Live under the video.
Don’t I look great with my open mouth in mid-sentence?
Why Should Political Candidates Start Going Live on Facebook?
1. Facebook Changes are Killing Your Page’s Reach
Mark Zuckerberg announced some major changes to Facebook back in January.
I wrote about that announcement, its consequences, and what candidates can do to protect their digital campaigning in this article.
The gist was that most posts were not going to seen by a Page’s followers unless those posts had long comment threads or were being shared by followers on their own Facebook pages.
Even then one of the things that I was proposed was that candidates need to start doing Live video on Facebook.
My time at Social Media Marketing World has only reinforced this belief.
So much so that I felt compelled to go Live the day I got back from the conference.
Live video gets six times the engagement on Facebook as all other types of posts.
That’s a statistic you can’t sneeze at.
The Live video I did Saturday validated this point to me.
Although we have a low traffic Facebook page currently, that video had better reach and a larger number of views than the articles we typically share on it.
Because of this, I intend to make Facebook Live a more common feature of The Campaign School.
2. People Desire Real Connection
Facebook’s stated reason for its changes is that it wants to encourage more “meaningful interactions” between people.
I don’t believe that’s 100% true, but Facebook does recognize something that’s happening.
People are wearing out from all of the automated marketing messages coming their way.
We all know that the company advertising to us doesn’t care about us.
They only care about separating our money from our bank accounts.
It’s become a new form of spam — and no one likes spam (at least not the email type).
Sadly, too many candidates have fallen into this trap.
All they want is to separate a person from their vote.
The voters recognize this and are understandably skeptical.
That’s why walking precincts and going door-to-door is still the best way to win a local election.
It puts you face-to-face with the voters and allows you to discuss issues important to them.
Facebook Live is merely a 21st Century extension of this.
When you go Live on Facebook, the voters will be able to directly interact with you.
That’s a very valuable campaign tool.
3. It Will Help Build Your Support Base
By going Live and creating that person-to-person connection with the voters, you’ll be giving your campaign a huge boost.
What almost every winning candidate has in common is that they have a solid base of committed supporters.
Committed supporters are the ones who say they will vote for you and actually do it.
But more than that, they’ll tell others to do the same.
A committed supporter will put your sign in their front yard, publicly endorse you, and possibly volunteer for your campaign.
They’ll also share information about you on their Facebook profile for all of their “friends” to see.
That’s a good person to have in your corner as a candidate.
With Facebook Live, you now have another way to talk with voters whom you may not personally know.
This will help you create a real connection with them that they want from their elected officials.
And that’s a solid way to build a broad and expanding base of support for your candidacy.
I know you’re probably a bit nervous about going Live on Facebook.
I certainly was. I almost didn’t do it.
But I had to conquer my fear and just do it.
I did, and I’m very happy with the results.
You need to do the same.
And the sooner you do so, the better of you and your campaign will be.