One of the most prominent key players in today’s political scene is social media. However, one of the oldest strategies for playing the politics game is good, old-fashioned networking. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for combining professional networking and social networking when it comes to social media and politics. Here are some tips on navigating LinkedIn for political campaigns.
Tip #1: Know The Rules
As you may already know, LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft Corporation, does not allow political ads on its platform. This means that the same advertisements you can place on YouTube and Facebook will not be allowed should you try to place them on LinkedIn. However, social networks are not just useful for advertising, they are useful primarily for building your online presence, your branding, and your following.
Just because you can’t push political ads doesn’t mean LinkedIn is an obsolete platform for aspiring politicians and activists. Use your LinkedIn profile to further build your online presence and get your name out there with professionals, organizations, firms, and other politicians who can give you references or political work opportunities.
There are plenty of politicians who use LinkedIn to build their network, so network with those same politicians! You can find politicians from all sides of the aisle on this platform, and working with them can expand your horizons. You can also use LinkedIn for political campaigns in order to hire interns, advisors, and lobbyists.
Tip #2: Aesthetics Matter, But Don’t Go Overboard
Like with any other social media platform, your profile exhibits a level of creativity along with showing the world what you look like. This is why LinkedIn users often take headshots or high-quality photos in professional attire simply for their profile picture. The photos that stand out the most on LinkedIn are the professional ones.
Imagine going to an interview at an up-scale law firm in your sweatpants. That’s exactly what employers and organizations think of when they see a profile photo on LinkedIn that looks like it’s more suited for your close friends on Instagram. Needless to say, your profile makes an impression on people, so choose a photo that looks professional, but still looks like you. It should be a relatively recent photo and pretty close up. A good rule of thumb is that your face should take up about 60% of the photo.
However, keep in mind that making your profile a little too unique can turn off potential employers and business partners from your page. When deciding what other pictures to upload to your LinkedIn feed, or deciding your header photo on your profile, don’t go overboard with the aesthetics. Use photos that grab people’s attention in a realistic way. Set the stage for what you want your political allies, opponents, and potential organizers to see.
Tip #3: Don’t Leave Your Profile Bare
Arguably more important than photos, what you write on your profile and feed posts will absolutely get people to either tune in and pay attention to you, or completely tune out. When constructing your profile, keep in mind the kind of opportunities or political goals you have and showcase the skills and experiences that can fit with those opportunities you want.
Your list of skills on your profile should be relevant to your work. LinkedIn has helpful tools to guide you when you’re curating your profile. They have a drop down list of skills you can add to your profile so that you don’t have to wrack your brain thinking of which words describe your talents.
If you do customize your skills list with your own words, make sure they are relevant and easy to understand. When composing the summary section on your profile, try to stay away from overly-used buzzwords. Words like passionate, motivated, and creative were once good words to use, but now that so many LinkedIn profiles have them, they have become cliche. Stand out by opting for a more unique description.
Lastly, use your feed posts to stand out too. Because you can’t write too much on your profile, your LinkedIn feed allows you to post long-form content that starts thought-provoking conversations about social issues and the modern-day work environment. Sharing your thoughts on issues that matter to you will help develop your online presence as an aspiring political figure.
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