A Practical Guide to Planning and Monitoring a Social Media Election Campaign


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A Practical Guide to Planning and Monitoring a Social Media Election Campaign

  1. 1. MONITORING AND ANALYTICSA PRACTICAL GUIDE TOPLANNING AND MONITORINGA SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTIONCAMPAIGN Learn how to position a political candidate in the virtual world, monitor social media and measure the success of an online campaign By Eliseu Barreira Junior and Thiago Costa (organizers) A publication by
  2. 2. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2Starting off On April 31, 2006 The New York Times published a report on the radically transformative effect that the internet was having on North American politics. At the time the race for the White House was just heating up. The newspaper analyzed the campaign’suse of digital media and concluded that the rules pertaining topolitical advertising, fund raising, mobilization of grass rootssupport and even the dissemination of attack ads were aboutto be fundamentally rewritten. “Democrats and Republicans aresharply increasing their use of email, interactive websites,candidate and party blogs, and text-messaging in order to raisemoney. The Internet, they said, appears to be far more efficient,and less costly, than the traditional tools of politics”, wrotejournalist Adam Nagourney at the time.1As a result the practice of monitoring social media for politicalcampaigns has been gaining in prominence. First, it enablescampaign staff to monitor what voters are saying in real time.Second, it helps gauge a candidate’s performance among certainfocus groups. Third, it can be used to forestall potential crises.Finally, it can be used to integrate information of interest to thedifferent players in a political committee.1 Politics Faces Sweeping Change via the Web[http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/washington/02campaign.html?pagewanted=all] www.scup.com/en Share!
  3. 3. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 3What has it got to do with me? Ever since the first business intelligence strategists identified the power of social media, companies have been able to closely monitor their target audiences. In the political universe, the race to be part ofweb 2.0 is underway. Several politicians are attempting tocement their participation in the virtual world and have startedto integrate social media into their political strategies. Thisebook is designed to help those of you who manage or are apart of a campaign’s digital marketing team. We will guide youon how to create your own strategies and achieve greaterreturns from social media.We cannot overemphasize the fact that the massive use of theinternet provides a huge volume of data on social media usersfree-of-charge to whoever cares to make use of it. Making gooduse of this data is one of the main challenges that this ebookwill help you address. www.scup.com/en Share!
  4. 4. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 4ContentsChapter 1 | Online presence ........................................................ 5Chapter 2 | Team profile ............................................................. 8Chapter 3 | How to monitor social media ................................. 11Chapter 4 | Strategy: what works and what doesn’t ................. 19Chapter 5 | How to measure the success of an on-line campaign................................................................................................... 21 www.scup.com/en Share!
  5. 5. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 5Chapter 1 | Online presence s“The presence of a candidate on theinternet is an opportunity to open channelsfor conversation and to establish dialogwith the public”.....................................................................T he online campaign has already become a key tool in political strategies. For a campaign to be successful, a candidate’s online presence must be thoroughly planned.An online presence means being where your audience is in thedigital world in order to publicize the candidate’s name andwhat he or she stands for. There are many ways to do this, suchas blogs and social media profiles, content spaces and interactionon third-party channels (blogs, websites and web portals). Theissue of how to proceed in order to achieve more wide-ranging www.scup.com/en Share!
  6. 6. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 6interaction with the public can be addressed by answeringseveral questions:> Is there a willingness to interact with the public online?> Are you prepared to deal with criticism?> Do you have time to devote to what you create on theinternet? Let’s get to the point! HOW TO PLAN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE Defining the objectives What do you want to achieve with your online presence? > Reach a certain number of followers on social media websites who may then become future voters? > Obtain data on voters for future campaign initiatives? > Engage people and create a grassroots support network of volunteers to take part in your campaign? > Get your ideas out there and test the response to your platform? > Take the public’s pulse and collect ideas for your campaign? > Interact with members of the public and to provide the opportunity for them to debate your ideas? > Raise funds for the campaign? www.scup.com/en Share!
  7. 7. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 7IN CONTEXT | What people are saying about 2.0 campaigns“For a presidential candidate, they really should be everywhere peopleare,” says Dave Kerpen, CEO of social media marketing firm LikeableMedia.Updates on sites such as Twitter and Facebook are now expected, withsavvy candidates also tapping into other areas such as LinkedIn, Pinterestand Instagram to reach potential supporters, he says.Constituents want news and information quickly, but to really besuccessful, candidates need to spread their messages through an open,conversational style, says Kerpen.“Speed is important of course,” he says. “But more important than speedis authenticity and personality.”Running for the presidency, you’d better be on social media – USA Today22 http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-08-12/romney-ryan-social-media/56987408/1 www.scup.com/en Share!
  8. 8. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 8Chapter 2 | Team profile h.“The professional who coordinates acandidate’s interaction with his or herconstituents is as important as theprofessional who coordinates thecampaign’s fundraising initiatives”.....................................................................H ow many people should work on an online campaign? It depends on the size of the campaign. The number of people hired may depend on the resources available, butremember not to skimp because the Internet is a great venuefor the formation of social capital -- engaged people whovoluntarily become multipliers of the ideas and conceptssurrounding the campaign. www.scup.com/en Share!
  9. 9. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 9The professional who coordinates a candidate’s interactionwith his or her constituents is as important as the professionalwho coordinates the campaign’s fundraising initiatives. He orshe must be somebody very close to the decision-making coreof the campaign. This is because the coordinator will manage theteam and must make decisions quickly. He or she must also keepthe team aligned with the principles and ideals that thecandidate supports. Let’s get to the point! WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS CONSTITUTE AN ONLINE CAMPAIGN? The tasks > Produce on-line content (texts, photos, video, etc.) for publication on websites, blogs and social media outlets where the candidate has a page or a profile; > Publicize the candidate’s initiatives, agenda and opinions on his or her social media profiles; > Promote interactivity with the public online; > Monitor what is being said about the campaign on social media, in comments sections and on other websites on the internet; > Promote the distribution of digital campaign material. How to hire the right people > Choose creative and versatile professionals; > Look for people with internet experience. You will save time if you do not have to train people; > Choose good writers. They will be writing material for the campaign and you will not always have time to revise the content before publication; > Select a team that is capable of solving issues quickly. The instantaneous nature of interactions nowadays requires good judgement; > Choose professionals who can dedicate themselves to the work at night and on weekends. Both the campaign and the internet are 24- www.scup.com/en Share!
  10. 10. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 10 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week; > Put people you trust on the team. They must be able to represent the campaign and speak for it; and > Hire at least one professional who understands the production of content across several on-line platforms: websites, videos, social media, emails, etc. Always make it clear to potential voters when it is the candidate or your team who is posting content. Don’t forget to also publicize the names of the social media team members. www.scup.com/en Share!
  11. 11. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 11Chapter 3 | How to monitor social media“Social media research is cheaper and fasterthan traditional campaign research”.....................................................................S ocial media has become a vital element in winning over new voters, which means that digital marketing has become increasingly important in political campaigns.Social media monitoring is a thermometer that gauges whatpeople are saying about a certain candidate or issue and itallows you to collect and act on information much faster thantraditional campaign research. This is because the opinionsexpressed in the on-line environment are more spontaneous thatthe opinions offered to clipboard-armed, in-the-streetinterviewers. www.scup.com/en Share!
  12. 12. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 121. Define the objectives of the monitoring initiative You can use the information collected from the monitoring in two ways: underestimate it or apply it in a manner that helps with the decision-making process. According to Mariana Oliveira, of Ogilvy & Mather, “in the case of political campaigns, which are usually ephemeral and where data from research institutes isscarce, social media monitoring may be useful to support thesearch for strategic information. This information can help witheverything from the creation of content for the TV campaign tothe effective mapping of a crisis, before it gets out of hand”. Let’s get to the point! WHAT ELECTION MONITORING IS GOOD AT – By Mariana Oliveira > Identifying influencers (activators, detractors, vehicles); > Identifying the public; > Crisis management; > Obtaining insights for content creation; > Interaction with fans and followers; > Clarifying questions; > Conversations with candidates; > Reducing uncertainties in the decision-making process; > Searching for strategic information; > Creating relationships > Managing grassroots mobilization initiatives www.scup.com/en Share!
  13. 13. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 132. Assemble the team responsible for monitoring Social media analysts involved in monitoring must have several basic characteristics, such as an above- average level of curiosity, the capacity to contextualize facts and the ability to explain what report data means in a useful and interesting manner. But theanalyst’s most important characteristic is the ability to act as a“funnel”; in other words, the ability to read hundreds ofmentions and summarize this information in a relevant mannerfor the client. In a political campaign, characteristics such asagility, dynamism and an understanding of the political scene(who is who, political parties, laws, etc.) stand out. Let’s get to the point! WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A MONITORING PROFESSIONAL – By Mariana Oliveira > The ability to explain what the data is saying > The role of a “funnel”; in other words the ability to filter and sumarize hundreds of mentions > The capacity to compile social media data in a simple and relevant manner for the client > The ability to analyze public sentiment www.scup.com/en Share!
  14. 14. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 143. Beginning the monitoring process Political monitoring teams have more information at their disposal than ever before on the candidate’s potential constituents and they have unprecedented access to each and every one of them to understand opinions, attitudes, expectations and much more. The challenge is to find a model to use this information in the most effective way.The first part of the challenge involves the choice of a platformthat is capable of capturing and supplying social media data. Asthe volume of information collected is usually large, it isnecessary to take part of it as sample. Let’s get to the point! SELECTING A MONITORING PLATFORM – By Mariana Oliveira The monitoring platform should deliver > Searches based on clear criteria > Storage of the collected items in a simple and accessible manner > Automatic classification of items based on previously established rules > Categorization of items in accordance with the monitoring objectives > Graphs that illustrate the findings What to consider when creating and administering the monitored keywords > The main profiles of the candidates in social media > Variations of candidates’ names, as well as spelling mistakes and diminutive forms > Possible pejorative variations associated with the names of candidates www.scup.com/en Share!
  15. 15. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 15 > Associations of candidates’ names with information that you wish to monitor4. Structuring flows Let’s say you have collected some important information. Who will manage it? In a political campaign, each area has its own interests and needs different information. This must be taken into account not only when it comes to executing searches (through the choice of keywords related to each type ofinformation), but also when a data classification plan is defined.It is necessary to create specific reports for each area.In general, the most important events in a political campaignhappen in the morning, when the latest editions of newspapersare published, or at night, during peak TV viewing times, whenthe main news programs and political advertisements thatcause the greatest buzz are broadcast. Let’s get to the point! DAILY CAMPAIGN MONITORING How to create an internal communications system > Create a single environment where the most important information is stored > Structure alerts that can be provided to each area of the campaign > Develop guidelines with recommendations on how responses to users and the classification of their sentiment can be handled What information is relevant for each sector of the campaign? > The press officer should know what traditional communications vehicles are publishing or saying about the candidate > The agency responsible for the production of television programs needs to know what people think about the communications initiatives it is producing www.scup.com/en Share!
  16. 16. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 16 > The agency responsible for digital marketing needs to know what voters think about its social media initiatives > The party leaders are more concerned about the opinions of the party with regard to the direction of the campaign > The campaign coordinator looks at the big picture in search of more wide-ranging information.5. Analyzing the material collected How do potential voters feel about the candidate? Who are the most influential people in your audience? What are the voters’ main questions? Knowing these answers is extremely important when it comes to planning monitoring initiatives. All social media operations must include a Monitoring Plandeveloped by the team leader. The briefing must contain theanalysis criteria for the public sentiment (positive, neutral,negative or mixed), tagging criteria and possible doubts fromthe analysts. Let’s get to the point! HOW TO ANALYZE MENTIONS - By Mariana Oliveira Planning monitoring analysis > Determine what is important to identify in the issues > Identify the reactions, feelings and desires pertaining to entities, people and campaigns > Add and cross-check information > Draw up a detailed profile of pertinent audiences > Define the criteria for comparisons among the data collected at different times during the campaign or in previous campaigns www.scup.com/en Share!
  17. 17. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 176. Working from the results of monitoring initiatives Political monitoring in social media is not only be used tocollect mentions connected to the name of the candidates,political parties and competitors. When collecting mentionsabout issues that are positively or negatively associated withpoliticians and have a potential for publication on the internet,the social media team can identify the most effective way to dealwith certain issues or whether they are importante enough to bedealt with at all.7. Daily monitoring of social media The most important change that social media brings to a political campaign is the improved ability to develop relationships. In the digital 2.0 world you can’t communicate in the same way you would at a traditional rally. It is necessary to listen, share, exchange experiences and discuss different points of view. It isnecessary to interact. And this is one of the greatest challengesfor politicians. Let’s get to the point! HOW TO DEVELOP A CANDIDATE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS OR HER CONSTITUENTS Insights for content creation > Identify the people who are most active among your constituents so you can focus on what they write and produce specific content for them; > Propose conversations with candidates > Run direct marketing programs with focused messages www.scup.com/en Share!
  18. 18. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 18 > Produce content and speak to niche groups; maintain dialog with specific groups; > Respond to attack ads, facts, opinions and debates; > Crisis management; > Interact with “fans” and followers > Clarify questions.7. How to adjust social media work according topolitical activities During a campaign, any television programs the candidates participate in require special attention. At the end of a successful appearance it is important to create a report showing the volume of social media conversations generated, analyze the sentiment and the most representative subjects. Theinformation uncovered by the monitoring initiatives is a muchbetter indicator than focus groups to find out which candidateperformed better in the debate.It is important to listen to what people are saying about thecandidate on the internet in order to understand what theythink about his or her candidacy. Monitoring may also be used toidentify the opinion leaders in a community and the needs andinterests of those people.In politics, it is also essential to monitor the social media buzzcreated by one’s adversaries. It is not always necessary to carryout an in-depth analysis of information on an adversary, but thechoice of some strategic data can be helpful. www.scup.com/en Share!
  19. 19. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 19Chapter 4 | Strategy: what works andwhat doesn’ta“The lack of ability by a politician to interactwith Internet users may lead to mistakesthat can derail a campaign”.....................................................................W hat does a successful social media political campaign look like? Just being present on social media is not enough to ensure success at the ballot box. FernandoBarros, president of the political advertising and marketingagency Propeg explains that “it is necessary to develop creativeand unique strategies that can tailor messages to specificaudiences, rather than depend on generalized reports”.Several practices that are common in digital marketing,especially amongst private companies, are not well-regarded inthe political sphere. Most voters reject pop-up ads, email www.scup.com/en Share!
  20. 20. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 20marketing initiatives and newsletters from political campaigns.Paying influential people on the internet (usually bloggers andcelebrities) to support a political campaign and create buzz is notalways seen in a positive light by potential voters. Usingstrategies to quickly increase the number of followers of aTwitter profile or the number of fans of a Facebook pages canalso backfire and thwart the objectives of the campaign. Let’s get to the point! STRATEGIES TO CREATE INFLUENCE IN SOCIAL MEDIA > Be proactive in order to meet the campaign’s objectives > Always look for information that may be relevant to other areas of the campaign > Anticipate reactions. > Structure data in both a quantitative and qualitative manner > Identify influencers (proponents, detractors), and reach out to them individually > Identify the key target groups involved with the candidate’s ideas.IN CONTEXT | Common Social Media Campaign MistakesThe following is a list of the greatest mistakes politicians make with socialmedia:1. Use it to ask for votes without presenting their platform2. Create an online presence and propose interaction, but fail to interact3. Their profile is managed by consultants and they don’t admit it;4. Get involved in mud slinging matches with their followers5. Promote only positive messages6. Run their campaigns with direct marketing7. Force intimacy with online users8. Associate their names with content that has no relation to politics9. Want to please everybody without questioning them. www.scup.com/en Share!
  21. 21. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 21Chapter 5 | How to measure the successof an on-line campaign“Every initiative that we propose to carryout on the internet, whether through awebsite or social media, can and should bemeasured”.....................................................................A ll planning must be based on a clear goal. This is important because it enables corrections to be made in direction during the execution.Be thorough and select the most relevant targets to monitor. Tofind out more about these targets, the funnel shown here in thegraphic can help. It simplifies online initiatives into three distinct www.scup.com/en Share!
  22. 22. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 22stages: Visibility: the passive relationship with the potential voter. Interaction: the interactive relationship with the potential voter. Conversion: the voter is won over by the campaign.It is important to know that whoever passes through the finalstage of the funnel may, at any moment, return to the first stage.This is a dynamic funnel. Next, we present the targets that maybe associated with each of these stages.1. VisibilityThe point at which the voter becomes aware of certain content orhas contact with a certain publication, but does not make him orherself known.2. InteractionThe point at which the potential voter becomes aware of certaincontent or a profile and starts to interact with this publication.3. ConversionThe deepest level of interaction with potential voters. Whoevergets to this stage wants to follow a candidate’s ideas, follow thecampaign and possibly engage with it and make a contribution. www.scup.com/en Share!
  23. 23. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 23Next Steps... Do you need a social media monitoring platform for the 2012 elections? Try testing Scup for 7 days and find out how we can help you. http://bit.ly/Tsgx97 www.scup.com/en Share!
  24. 24. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 24References This ebook draws on the experience and knowledge of several individuals. Previously presented on our blog and through other internet channels, the information presented herein was compiled by Thiago Costa and Eliseu Barreira Junior, from the CommunicationsDepartment at Scup. Find out a little more about the mindsbehind the shared knowledge in this ebook:Sérgio Lüdtke holds an undergraduate degree in journalism fromthe Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS),in Brazil, with a Master’s degree in Communications CompanyManagement from CEU/Navarra University, in Spain. Hisprevious experience includes stints as the executive-director ofinternet and innovation at the RBS communications group anddigital content and on-line editor at Editora Globo. Currently,Lüdtke is the coordinator of the Master’s Program for DigitalJournalism at the International Social Sciences Institute (IICS), inSão Paulo, as well as editor of the Interatores website. Twitter:@ludtkeTarcízio Silva holds an undergraduate degree in communicationsand a Master’s degree in cyberculture, social interaction anddigital technologies from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA),in Brazil. Currently, Tarcízio is monitoring and metricscoordinator at the Coworkers agency in São Paulo. Twitter:@tarushijioDaniel Souza was previously Planning Manager at theWunderman agency (São Paulo). In 2010, Daniel coordinated themonitoring and metrics efforts for the campaign of presidential www.scup.com/en Share!
  25. 25. HOW TO PLAN AND MONITOR A SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTION CAMPAIGN 25hopeful José Serra, who was defeated in a second-round run-offby the current president, Dilma Rousseff, in the Brazilianpresidential elections of 2010. Serra was the candidate for thePSDB, one of the largest political parties in Brazil, which countsex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso among its ranks.Twitter: @danielsouzaMariana Oliveira is social media monitoring supervisor at theOgilvy & Mather agency, in São Paulo. In 2010, she was also partof the social media monitoring team for José Serra’s presidentialbid. Twitter: @marianarrpp www.scup.com/en Share!