Social Media:  A Day In The Life

Social Media: A Day In The Life

During a recent election, I was fortunate to manage the social media for two candidates, and do outside consulting for a third. It was a great fit for me because with ten years of political experience, I knew the audience, the language and the candidates well enough to speak in their voices. Also, I'm funny, which, according to the latest OFA Social Media Summit, is a powerful part of an effective social media campaign.

I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest, and I loved every second of it! I thought it would be neat to pull back the proverbial curtain and show you what goes into political social media. Here is what a typical Saturday looked like for me.

Saturday, August 2015

10:30am

Drive to Candidate 1 event

11:00am

Stay with Candidate 1 at event

Live-tweet, take pictures, post on Instagram and Facebook

Talk to other candidates, candidates' staff, share pictures, etc.

1:00pm

Part ways with Candidate 1

Gas station lunch!

Change out of Candidate 1 t-shirt and into Candidate 2 t-shirt

1:30pm

Drive to Candidate 2's house

2:00pm

Drive Candidate 2 to speaking event

2:15pm

Stay with Candidate 2 at event

Live-tweet, take pictures, post on Facebook

2:30pm

*Canvass district with Candidate 2

Live-tweet, take pictures, post on Facebook

Drive around to find campaign volunteers and take pictures of them canvassing

*canvass means walking the neighborhoods of the voting district, knocking on doors and talking to voters

5:00pm

Drive Candidate 2 to his house

Pet Candidate 2's dog

Drive home

Lament the absence of drive-thru daiquiri shops

5:30pm

Upload the day's pictures to Dropbox

Create photo collage, write 'daily wrap-up' and post on both candidates' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

6:00pm

Monitor and respond to activity on both candidates' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

6:30pm

Collapse on couch and refuse to do anything you told your husband you'd do that night. And... scene.

A lot goes into making a day like this work. The most important thing is finding out who decides the candidate's schedule and making that person like you and share information with you. The same goes for the handler. Higher level candidates have handlers - people who drive them to their events and stay with them. You need that handler to like you and communicate with you. Schedules change, people run late, and you need a dedicated person you can call and get an ETA.

You also need to be organized. I had three other clients in addition to these two candidates, so I had to work smart during the week to make sure I could dedicate all day Saturday to these campaigns.

Lastly, and most important, you need all the chargers. I have a car charger for myself and a fancy multi-plugin portable charger for my candidates' phones. Attending events and live-tweeting is great and obviously needed, but being able to charge your client's dead, five year old iPhone is what gets you a high-five at the end of the day.


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