Online Campaigning For The Technologically Challenged

Right then, you lot. It’s becoming apparent that some of you, dedicated though you are, ain’t too hot with the online campaigning stuff. I think it’s fair to put this down to age and leftism. As aged lefties you will have spent far too much time waving placards outside meetings, on your high streets and at passing malevolent entities (probably, but not exclusively, inadequately disguised Tories) to have delved in to the world of e-comms (calm yourselves: that’s electronic communications, not electronic communism.)

‘But’, shout you, ‘We’ve got a Facebook page!’

Great. No, really, great. However your Facebook page is but a start.

So here, for the technologically challenged, is a very, very basic guide to the very, very basics of online campaigning from a middle-age-nudging leftie. If you’re a non-mature student you might as well look away now. You probably covered this stuff during your first day at primary school.

Tools

There are guides which go in to some depth about different online tools which are kicking about, most of which are very useful. We haven’t got all night though, we’ve got meetings to get to, Governments to topple and real ale to drink so these are the basics:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Website
  • Emails

Facebook

You’re either on Facebook or you’re not. If you’re on it you know why it’s such a great campaigning tool. If you’re not on Facebook you should probably leave the online campaigning to somebody who is. It really is a great online campaigning tool.

Get a page set up for your campaign, make sure you’ve got contact details there, links to your website/blog & Twitter etc.

Twitter

You’re either on Twitter or you’re not. If you’re on it you know why it’s such a great campaigning tool. If you’re not on Twitter you should probably leave the online campaigning to somebody who is. It really is a great online campaigning tool.

Get an account set up for your campaign and make sure you’ve got a link to your blog/website in the profile.

Website

You really do need a website. It’s the easiest way to keep all the information about your campaign in one place, along with links to related campaigns, events etc. Probably the easiest way to set one up is to use WordPress or Blogger. I use WordPress and recommend it but both are pretty straightforward and both are free.

Email

Get yourselves an email address, get a bunch of email addresses from people who are mad enough to give them to you interested in your campaign and email the people on the email list. Wait until you’ve got something worth emailing though. And don’t sell the email addresses to anybody, not even if they promise you sex and pizza.

No. Don’t. Though I confess it would be tempting.

That’s the Stuff, This is the Advice

  1. Update things regularly but don’t overdo it.
  2. Don’t flood Twitter with re-tweets. Use it to let followers know about updates on your website and re-tweet things that are relevant but ten successive tweets in a couple of minutes are likely to lose you more followers than you gain.
  3. Get a logo if you can. ‘Branding’ might be the talk of capitalist pig dogs but it is useful. Use a Twitter hashtag too but, if you’re involved in a demo, us whichever hashtag is most popular else you’re likely to be missed.
  4. Start a petition, get it online. Paper petitions are fine on the high street but hard to pop in an email.
  5. Only set up one Facebook event per real life event. One event with 500 people looks better than two with 250 each. This means asking people involved to share the campaign’s Facebook event rather than creating their own.
  6. Get reports out there after meetings and events. Let people know how they went. Use photos if you have any, no matter how unphotogenic your campaign is.

There. Those are the most basic things I think you need & need to know for online campaigning.

To the pub! Mine’s a Bishop’s Finger.

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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 Political Bits

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