As technology evolves, the way political campaigns are managed must also evolve. People begin to look for different things in their candidates, and as the country grows it would be nearly impossible to reach everyone without utilizing the technologies available to the modern person hitting the campaign trail. There are ways of capitalizing on these opportunities that will fit any campaigner and any budget. Political Robocall Companies have to stay up on technology to provide much needed services.
Today’s town halls (or town hall forums or town hall meetings, whatever the vernacular you choose) have evolved vastly over the history of the United States. From the early town meetings that started in the 1600’s in New England to the vast digitized and televised practices available to us now, these practices have become an integral part of American elections.
The original town meetings were used as a method of direct democracy, where townspeople would arrive at meetings and vote on issues to enact local legislation and policies. These days, the town hall is pretty different. However, the roots of the original town meetings are still alive and present in our modern town halls.
In today’s town halls, people from a community or region gather to listen to discussions or debates with political candidates. There, they have the ability to ask questions directly, with candidates interfacing personally with the people their policies and stances will end up impacting the most. At some town halls, there are no preferences given to one type of constituent or another. Other town halls may focus on a specific demographic, giving a candidate an in-depth look at their needs.
Town halls provide a unique opportunity for a candidate or elected official to make more personal, direct contact with their constituents. Town halls are capable of bringing you connections with new potential constituents or to reconnect with old existing constituents, giving you the opportunity to solidify their support. Which then brings us to the next point.
The impact that technology has had on political campaigns is far reaching, and something we haven’t yet seen the end of. Facebook Live gives viewers across the country (and the world) access to political speeches, debates, protests and intimate, conversation-like moments with political candidates. Facebook advertisements reach far and wide, catering themselves to social media-scrollers based on algorithms to get the most bang for a buck. Politicians like President Donald Trump and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have both used platforms like Twitter and Instagram to great effect, maximizing the ability of social media platforms to voice their opinions and probe for feedback from the American people. While often inflammatory, there’s no denying the efficacy of both politicians utilization of social media.
Ocasio-Cortez has also consistently attended town halls throughout her campaigns and tenure as a congresswoman. Regardless of your thoughts on her politics, her method of connecting with constituents and vocalizing the issues that matter to them can be considered commendable, and might be something to look at during your campaign.
The options for combining technology with your campaign to reach more voters and grow your constituency are growing all the time, and many of them can incorporate some type of town hall-like feel. Aim for platforms that allow you to reach a large audience with little effort for a start.
There are a few platforms that open themselves up to being useful campaigning tools with the right dedication. It should be noted, however, that any social media platform needs consistent management, an actionable calendar, a solid plan and an awareness of the audience you are trying to reach. Without this, you might be just yelling into the void. That being said, all of these platforms are worth investigating as a way to reach more constituents for two-way communication that can help on your campaign trail.
With about 69% of American adults using this platform and 74% of those adults checking their Facebook daily, the numbers alone add up to make it worth utilizing on your campaign. This platform features the Facebook Live option, allowing you to stream directly to your followers. The added bonus here is the followers’ ability to interact with you as you stream. Users can post comments that will show up in real time while you’re streaming, so you can answer questions and respond to comments, almost conversationally. After streaming ends, users have the ability to watch the content over again, continuing to comment (and you can continue to respond if you choose.) Additionally, these streams can be shared and shared and shared, widening your viewing audience each time.
Facebook also offers surveys that grant you an added opportunity to gather data from your constituents, with the bonus of actual statistics. This feature is rather simple, but it’s still an effective way to engage with constituents while providing data you might utilize on your campaign trail.
Both of the above features are free. If you have it in your campaign budget, Facebook Ads are an investment worth looking into. Like investing in a billboard on a high-traffic freeway, you are guaranteed views. But unlike the highway billboard, those views will lead to clicks, and clicks mean website traffic. Getting new people to view your website, see your face and learn about your platforms sets you up to grow your constituency.
Where Facebook shines in generating web traffic and as a hub for longer form content, like views and blogs, Twitter is far more succinct. This platform only allows users to make posts with up to 280 characters, meaning campaigners need to be concise and search savvy with their word choices. So why is this platform a good campaign choice?
The importance of Combining Politics and Data Analytics can’t be ignored. And to that effect, Twitter offers a more detailed (and free) look at your analytics. With this feature, users can track the impact their usage is having. These analytics track engagement, even offering feedback on how to create more successful interactions on the profile. Users can track Retweets, the locations and demographics of their followers, website clicks and more. This data provides a plethora of information about your campaign, and knowledge is power.
(If you’re looking for knowledge regarding voter data, check out this service from Robocent.)
Instagram is your opportunity to show your (literal) face. This photo-sharing social media platform should be used by campaigners to show their interactions in the community. Going to a fundraiser for an organization that relates to your platform? Put that on Instagram. This is where you can visually display what you’re about and the type of political leader you will be. With the ability to post video content, photos or add to a “story” that will appear at the top of your followers’ feeds, you have a lot of options to tailor the content you're sharing.
The platform also provides advertising opportunities that will generate website traffic, similar to Facebook. Additionally, anything you post to Instagram can be shared directly to Facebook or Twitter, making cross-platform posting pretty seamless.
Where Does Robocent Fit In?
While not specifically a social media platform, Robocent has a unique service worth discussing. Robocent can organize virtual town halls for your campaign. Not unheard of, these virtual town halls have been gaining popularity more and more over the last decade. Campaigners are recognizing the unique ability to connect beyond their own scope of followers to truly reach out to potential constituents. Unlike with Facebook Live, Robocent’s Tele-Town Hall is held through a phone conference. Voters are dialed up and asked to participate, where they can then connect with a screener to write down their questions and have them aired on the conference call.
These Tele-Town Halls offer the option to target a specific voting demographic, allowing you to focus in on groups of interest. This style of the service means that passionate debate can happen without the risk of someone hijacking the conversation or creating a toxic environment for discussion. This type of open, two-way dialogue can be a critical piece in connecting with voters to increase your political support base.
They can be held anywhere, without having to organize a brick and mortar location to gather hundreds of people to connect with them. If a voter that wasn’t on the call list wants to join, there’s an easy way to manually dial in.
To double-down on the service, this Tele-Town Hall can be connected with a Facebook to further conversations and connections. The best part is Robocent provides full data and analytics reporting after the event, giving you the most detailed information possible. So conduct polls, ask for feedback and use that data to your advantage as you build relationships with your voters.
Technology has changed the way we connect and campaign. But these changes can be used to your advantage on your political journey. Robocent makes it easy and affordable to connect with your voters, whether it be a Tele-Town Hall or campaign text messages. Find the platforms and services that work for you and start connecting today with Robocalls for Political Campaigns.