SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT TACTICS
It is imperative for any candidate to have a strong social media presence in these modern times. Studies demonstrate that social media can enable a candidate to reach novel audiences, establish the scope of campaigns, facilitate services and deliver effective and key messages to voters. Indeed, the widespread use of social media by campaigns is encouraged since it has numerous benefits like improving services, enhance access to information, and involve voters directly in campaign decision making. Information generated via social networks can facilitate value to campaigns and voters, thus should be well managed to realize the full value of such platforms. Social media use by campaigns is also subject to voter expectations and law requirements for the suitable management of information. On that account, the following paper will examine the management tactics that can be used to ensure the effective and appropriate use of social media communication in campaigns.
There is a scope of information management tactics a candidate can apply to his/her social media platforms on the basis of the campaign’s specific needs and risks. The strategy that a candidate selects needs to be based on an examination and comprehension of campaign needs and risks (Davies 2012). A candidate may need to select different information management strategies for different social media platforms used, hinging on the different levels of traffic, risk, as well as discussion within these platforms. An information management tactic a candidate selects should be reviewed regularly, since a campaign’s application of social media communication may shift from a largely passive use to engaged and targeted (Davies 2012). Once social media platforms become broadly accepted for engagement and communication in a campaign, it is highly probable that there will be an enhanced need for effective management of the information generated in these channels.
Leaving Information Where It is Tactic
The application of this tactic means that a candidate should opt not to capture and preserve information of its social media campaign processes in international systems. Instead, he/she opts to leave the candidate information in his/her native social media platform (Gainous and Wagner, 2013). For instance, a candidate does not transfer any Tweets from Twitter; rather, he/she chooses to maintain all tweets, mentions, and retweets in the Twitter account. It is crucial to note that a candidate cannot use this strategy as his/her default tactic as it should be a particular risk-based strategy. On that account, a candidate should select this tactic if he/she believes that there is no campaign information in its social media platform that has long-term value (Gainous and Wagner, 2013). Further, its campaign sectors will not need constant access to this information. The management will also need to make sure that all workers who need access to this information have the ability to access it via the social media platform.
Risks Associated with This Management Tactic
The “Leaving Information Where It is Tactic” comes with certain risks. First, it does not ensure constant accessibility to campaign information. Most social media service contracts facilitate the platform providers the right to permanently delete information at any point, without any other choice (Gainous and Wagner, 2013). Therefore, the application of this strategy means there are no assurances that information on a platform will remain accessible. Secondly, it could lead to risks that are unacceptable. If legal, campaign, or reporting perquisites means that a candidate will have to access its social media information for at least 2 years, it may be an unacceptable risk to depend on social media networks to preserve this information for a firm (Gainous and Wagner, 2013). Third, it needs to be executed with adherence to certain risk-based decisions. In most settings, it could be that this tactic may be a suitable choice for a campaign, but the candidate will need to examine and acknowledge all the related risks prior to adopting the tactic.
The Information Monitoring Management Tactic
The strategy entails the use of a social media monitoring tool to gather information about the campaign’s social media communication along with reactions to this interaction. A candidate should opt for this tactic since monitoring tools gather both social communication and reactions to a campaign’s operations and interactions (Ceron et al, 2014). On that note, they facilitate campaign intelligence and data about an organization’s social engagement.
Risks Associated with The Tactic
Firstly, the strategy may be restricted by the lack of export aptitude in some tools. Risks may come up if the monitoring tool a campaign uses is not able to export or completely export data into the campaign’s systems. Secondly, it may be hindered since some tools export data in format’s that are limited. Some tools can only export data in formats developed to support processing in machines like CSV, instead of formats that reinforce dissemination of information for campaign application and reference (Ceron et al, 2014). Lastly, it can be an expensive venture as monitoring tools are associated with high costs. Some monitoring tools need a substantial financial layout than other strategies which are simpler to execute.
The Need-Based Information Management Tactic
The needs-based information is used when a campaign executes information strategies as certain needs come up. The strategy should be opted for when most of a candidate’s social media traffic is extremely low risk interactions (Dimitrova et al, 2014). Nonetheless, if a certain issue comes up, he/she could use an information management strategy to capture these particular conversations.
Risks Associated with The Tactic
The biggest drawback of the strategy is that it needs management as well as ownership. If nobody takes ownership of information management when it is needed, the risk is a tactic will not be executed to reinforce conversations that carry higher risks (Dimitrova et al, 2014). Another drawback is that it needs active engagement and awareness. The strategy needs an active comprehension of a campaign’s social networks and an awareness of when conversations and transactions that carry a high risk are occurring (Dimitrova et al, 2014). Additionally, it requires a comprehension of what information management tactic should be deployed to reinforce these.
The Reporting Tactic
The use of the strategy means that documents gathered to report on social media strategies and campaign are preserved to represent information regarding these strategies and campaigns. A candidate should select this tactic if it needs to gather regular reports to examine the performance of its social media strategy against established benchmarks, then exemplary information which summarizes social media processes is already being developed (Dimitrova et al, 2014). The management of this strategy can facilitate good perpetual information regarding a campaign’s social media strategy. The tactic is especially effective for use in social media campaigns since it facilitates regular information that can assist with focused messages, responses to feedbacks, and enhance performance whilst also facilitating an ongoing record of operations on social media platforms.
Risks Associated with The Tactic
First, requirements need to be examined if the use of social media becomes a normal part of operations. Constant reporting of social media tactics only occurs for a certain duration. If social tactics become business as usual procedures and continue to function past the stated reporting duration, novel strategies may need to capture any needed campaign information (Dimitrova et al, 2014). Secondly, the strategy develops high level rather than operational information. Reports usually get high level information regarding communications along with metrics (Dimitrova et al, 2014). If more detailed information regarding certain social media interaction is needed by operational staff, different types of information may be needed to reinforce these campaign requirements.
The Different Management Activities and Factors to Be Considered in a Social Media Campaign
The first aspect to be considered is that a candidate should only manage social media information that meets its campaign requirements. Information about campaigns is increasingly found in social media platforms (Gil de Zúñiga, Molyneux, and Zheng, 2014). To that extent, a candidate does not need to develop and preserve information of all his/her social media operations. There does not exist blanket guidelines that state that a candidate must maintain information regarding everything he/she tweets and each update on its Facebook page. The rules that guide information management are not applicable to social media platforms but are determined by a campaign’s specific risks and requirements (Gil de Zúñiga, Molyneux, and Zheng, 2014). Social networks are delivery platforms for campaigns and decisions. To preserve information is based on needs of the candidate for information, rather than the fact that social media is used as a delivery channel. Based on this description, campaign requirements can include the need to; (1) interweave information gathered from social media with business as normal process or campaign improvement strategies; (2) preserve social media information that has value to the campaign in the long run; (3) enable campaign accountabilities functioning in other sectors to work is social media systems (Gil de Zúñiga, Molyneux, and Zheng, 2014). Such needs demonstrate that social media should be tailored to fit campaign requirements. The main rule of thumb to use in social networks is; if a candidate needs it, it should manage it, and vice versa if he/she does not need it.
Lastly, social media information tactics should be proactive and planned. Social media information tactics need to be proactive rather than reactive. Tactics need to be proactive since social media platforms are usually; (1) owned by third parties; (2) based in the cloud; (3) unable to be depended upon to keep campaign information for lengthy periods; (4) subject to constant changes (Gil de Zúñiga, Molyneux, and Zheng, 2014). Indeed, data on social media networks is usually hosted remotely, is collaborative and dynamic by nature, is developed to be accessed via numerous interfaces, and can be comprised of many forms of data. On that account, proactive maintenance and export of social media data that has campaign value is recommended since preserving access to key information on social networks is hard. Further, it is also crucial that a candidate is proactive in the management of social media information since most social networks are clear that it is not their role to manage a candidate’s information.
In summary, the following paper has discussed the management tactics that can be used to ensure the effective and appropriate use of social media communication in campaigns. Whilst these tactics carry certain risks, a candidate who applies them to fit his/her campaign needs will conduct an effective social media campaign. Overall, social media has offered candidates an inexpensive yet widespread method to market their campaigns.
Ceron, A., Curini, L., Iacus, S.M. and Porro, G., 2014. Every tweet counts? How sentiment analysis of social media can improve our knowledge of citizens’ political preferences with an application to Italy and France. New Media & Society, 16(2), pp.340-358.
Davies, P.J., 2012. Winning elections with political marketing. Routledge.
Dimitrova, D.V., Shehata, A., Strömbäck, J. and Nord, L.W., 2014. The effects of digital media on political knowledge and participation in election campaigns: Evidence from panel data. Communication Research, 41(1), pp.95-118.
Gainous, J. and Wagner, K.M., 2013. Tweeting to power: The social media revolution in American politics. Oxford University Press.
Gil de Zúñiga, H., Molyneux, L. and Zheng, P., 2014. Social media, political expression, and political participation: Panel analysis of lagged and concurrent relationships. Journal of Communication, 64(4), pp.612-634.