Social Media Tips for Government Relations Professionals

Social Media Tips for Government Relations Professionals

Social media is, of course, crucial to stay top-of-mind for legislators, their staff, and your stakeholders. However, there are unique characteristics to the field of government relations that can derail your message if you’re not careful. Take a look at the three tips below to optimize your social media strategy.

Stay On Message

You want the key players in your policy sphere to know your brand for its timely and relevant material. Though a recent article about a political scandal might be interesting, you should stick to material related to your issue area(s).

When responding to questions or comments, be sure to engage as your organization or brand. Avoid taking a silly or flippant tone in the public policy space if you’d like to be taken seriously.

Target an Audience

To stay current on trends and topics, be sure to follow influencers, scholars and newsmakers in your policy area. The Members of Congress active in your issue areas and on relevant committees should especially be followed closely via social media. These are likely the people you want to eventually influence. You never know what information might spark a connection or come in handy during a meeting or networking event.

Also, follow or add your followers back when appropriate and make sure to respond to comments or mentions when appropriate. Online relationships are still relationships and nobody likes to feel ignored. However, avoid following spammers, creeps, and groups with whom you would not like to associate.

Engage to Grow

Make sure you are pushing material that is relevant to your stakeholders and not just policy wonks. If that means retooling scholarly articles and white papers into an easy-to-read blog post, then do it. You want engaged followers to easily spread your message. You can also use analytics tools to determine peak times to post and which types of post are most engaging.

Always remember: content is king. Instead of retweeting all day, try reframing content or third party links using apps like Buffer and by using your own hashtags or those that are popular with your followers.

Original video content is also powerful. Try creating a short 1-minute video of an expert in your industry speaking on one of your policy issues. Many people don’t have time to read long issue papers but can watch a quick video.

Nicholas Johns is the Director of Strategy for CDS

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