Sometimes you have to look back at where you were to gain appreciation for, or even an actionable understanding of, where you are. Sometimes data is a useful tool for action, and well, sometimes it’s not.
Earlier this week I took an interest in some old blog posts of mine, half-hoping to gain insight on where I stand, in much the same way as analytics should for social media campaigns, and I found just what I was looking for.
I stumbled across an old article of mine, a poorly written diatribe on the “real” Mitt Romney, the Mitt who the general public never got to know. It reminded me of two things – one, in many ways, I’m still the same guy I was a year ago, and two, you shouldn’t waste time trying to be something you’re not.
Sure, this may sound like common sense, but from the looks of a number of social media campaigns, these words of wisdom seem to be far too rarely abided by.
Too often, social media managers spend time in the retrospective; too often, self-proclaimed “social media gurus” dedicate hours to needless over analysis of others’ previous experiences.
This, of course, is not to say that excess time is spent on analysis, but that too much time is often dedicated to poor methods of analysis. If this was a nonpartisan phenomenon, I’d care less, but it seems to be a plague of sorts whose hardship is felt primarily by those aligned with the GOP, especially local and congressional Republican candidates.
You see, most social media savvy Democratic operatives don’t have this problem; they’re good at being themselves; they’re good at knowing their beat and sticking to it. Republicans, on the other hand, are spending too much time rubber-necking their social media opposition and unconfidently looking back at their own half-hearted attempts at social media “engagement”.
So what’s the solution? I say it’s “Know thyself.” Again, this seems like common sense, but it’s far too infrequently practiced.
In fact, it’s practiced so infrequently that, in most cases, analysis of any particular GOP candidate’s social media activities is a fruitless endeavor. Accordingly, in most cases, the best course of GOP social media action ought to be to act first and analyze later.
So what should you post, and who should you “talk” to? Why not start with what your followers take interest in. Rather than counting “likes,” your best bet would be to get to know your candidate, to get to know who your fans “like,” what they eat, where they hang out, what they read, how they breath, etc, etc…, and then incorporate postings about such things into your social media attack.
After you’ve done this consistently, after you’ve clearly articulated, through a number of social media platforms, who your candidate is and how he relates to his or her base, after you’ve relentlessly, digitally attacked the jugular vein of you opposition, then you can analyze, but to do so any earlier would be akin to putting the cart before the horse.
Patrick Kelly works at Individuals for Capitalism