We’re sure you’ve seen today’s news: Twitter plans to ban political and issue ads. The official policy will be unveiled on November 15 and go into effect on November 22.
But we still have Facebook, right? Maybe (for now). Facebook is knee-deep in federal hearings about its political advertising policy. We would not be surprised (we’re actually betting on it) if Facebook followed Twitter’s lead and completely eliminated or severely restricted its political advertising. We’re keeping a close eye on these developments and searching for ethical exceptions to these new rules.
Regardless of what happens with social advertising platforms, one thing is still clear: how we find and engage with our online audiences is changing. And changing quickly. Here are six things savvy organizations need to ensure success in an unpredictable online space:
Be On. All the Time. Money can’t buy you love, and on Twitter it can’t even buy you likes. Paid ads won’t be able to build followers for your issues’ campaign, either. Constant engagement and community management is critical to ensure you’re gaining and keeping followers and turning them into doers and donors.
Leverage Third-Party Voices. Social media influencers can help you reach new audiences and give your campaign a lift at critical moments. Bonus: because social media algorithms tend to favor content from individuals over that from organizational pages, it’s more likely that info shared by influencers will be seen.
Harness and Share Your First Party Data. We love social media advertising because we’re able to tap into the platforms’ data to microtarget users who might be interested in our issue. But the data your organization already has is more powerful. And it’s free. You just have to harness and grow it by sharing your data (there are secure ways to do this) with like-minded organizations.
Test Drive Other Platforms. When one door closes, another one opens. We’re constantly exploring ways to use new platforms – Caffeine, HouseParty, AllSocial…to name a few – to reach and engage audiences. Experimenting is always advised, but is necessary at this pivotal moment.
Be Bold, Creatively. You have less than two seconds to catch someone’s attention on social, so you need thumb-stopping creative to draw them in. Thinking outside the box and using relevant and real-time inspiration are also critical to making sure your message cuts through the noise.
Get in Before the Door Closes. There’s still time for some aggressive list building before these powerful tools join Friendster in the social media graveyard. What are you waiting for?