So now we know – on the 8th June there is to be a General Election, after the shortest Parliament since 1974. If all the trends, polls and general commentary is to be believed – Teresa May is taking a calculated low-risk strategy, which should see her majority, and therefore her mandate, increase. It’s probably what I would do in her position – though thank God THAT’s never going to happen – who the hell would want to be Prime Minister ?
Let’s think about it – you get slagged off every single day just for being who you are. You are ridiculed and (if you are a woman) your clothing and general appearance is the subject of daily scrutiny (that bit doesn’t happen to the men). And you are never going to please everyone – heck never mind everyone – you are never going to please at least half of the population.
The only thing Mrs May has going for her as PM is that the opposition is divided, into the labour “workers” – the people who voted for Corbyn – and the MP’s “the Management” – who seem to have little respect for him as a leader. Bit of a rubbish situation for him – as a leader with a team of managers who won’t work for or with them – does not have “a company”. Oh, and the other thing she has going for her in my eyes, is that she is called “Mrs. May” – which was my maternal grandmother’s name. And she rocked!
Having said all of that – we know what has happened to “sure-fire things” in recent months. Re: elections – from Brexit to Donald Trump, the world is changing, and people are not reacting as the powers that be want or expect them too. So, I think the old saying – “it’s not over till the fat lady sings”, is quite appropriate here (thought it might be argued that the aforementioned elections were both close runs things, whereas this one already looks like a foregone conclusion).
Anyway – what has this all got to do with you and social media and how can you benefit from it?
Well, the first thing to notice is recent election battles have been fought and won on social media. Trump’s tweets whilst not ‘politically correct’, won the day. And that is the exact point really. People are fed up of ‘politically correct’ and they also don’t like Vanilla. People like to know what you stand for, and if you are passionate about something, then you will find supporters – and also detractors.
For example. One of my acquaintances has a FB page where she posts 25-40 times a day, 24 hours a day. Now – if you know how we operate on social media – we post about that many times a day on our Twitter account but we post far less frequently on FB. When asked if some people complained about the number of posts on FB – her answer was “Yes, of course. And then we send them a pretty infographic showing them how they can unlike our page if they wish to”. On the basis that FB shows your posts to only 1-4% of your followers at any one time, I understand her posting frequency.
The thing is – she is not bothered about the complaints and that is for 2 big reasons. Number 1 – she has strong views about what info she should be putting out and how often. When you have strong views some people don’t like that. However, there will be others (probably more) who love it. Which brings me to reason number 2. She has over 3 Million FB fans. Yes, let me repeat that – 3 MILLION FB fans. Much as she would love everyone to be happy with her posting, the fact that 10 or 20 or even 100 a week may not be, is not something she is going to lose sleep over. Would you rather have 3 million fans or 30 that you never offend?
So – how can you benefit from this election stuff and social media. Here are 5 ways.
- Stand for something. Be clear and confident in your views (as long as they are real – don’t make it up for the purpose of getting fans).
- Be ACTIVE on social media – once a day is probably not enough now.
- Make sure the stuff you are putting out is quality stuff. At least 90 % of it needs to be informational and at least 65-70% of it needs to be from other thought leaders. I mean you don’t know everything …..do you? (and that’s not just my opinion but the actual workings of the 3 million fan page lady). This is one area the politicians get wrong – it’s must not all be about me, me, me on social media.
- Don’t be afraid of detractors – but do expect them. If you put yourself out there and you start to get noticed, SOME people will be haters. Ignore them. Delete or block them and move on. Never, never waste your time on trying to explain to them what you do – they DON’T CARE – they just want to have a winge and look clever in front of their FB mates. If you respond they will just argue with you and, personally, I don’t have the time or energy to argue with idiots. Do you? And please do NOT waste a single second on worrying about what they said. The only people whose opinions matter to you as a business are your clients, your staff and your own. Probably (but not always) in that order.
- Look what’s trending and comment. I would advise caution when commenting on the elections – however, you can post something and ask a question. You can retweet someone with a huge following and ask a question. For example today – someone retweeted an article in one of the papers about Howard Bernstein stating that the Labour council in Manchester consistently lost out when Labour was in power and gained when the conservatives were in power. He explained that their policy of working positively WITH the incumbent government – whoever they were – was not looked on kindly by Labour and that various top Labour politicians told him Manchester had lost out on funding and support from Labour when in power, because they felt the council should NOT have been working so well with the Tories.
Playground stuff – and I don’t know if it is true, however, he WAS the CEO of the council for 20 years so you’d think he would know this stuff. (Interesting as well that when googling copyright free images with the words ‘playground arguments -this image of a certain Mr Corbyn came up)
Now, that is going to bring the social media trolls out without a doubt. There will be people claiming Bernstein is making it all up. But why would he? He is one ofthe most respected figures in Manchester – by everyone including the incumbant Labour councillors. In fact, Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell said: “Sir Howard is the giant amongst local government chief executives and his retirement is a huge loss to the city. His leading contribution in reshaping Manchester from a dying, declining city into a modern powerhouse is a legacy that will last for many decades to come.”
Anyway, I’m not keen on any of them (Ooliticians), but what I did was retweet @IloveManchester, thanked them for raising such an interesting article and mused that it might provoke some interesting discussions.
That tweet in one hour has been liked by @IloveManchester, who have 55,000 followers and a Klout score of 66 – mine is only 63 (ask me if you don’t know what that is) – and in the last 54 minutes since it was posted (and this is not a typo) 54 people have followed me.
So look for your opportunities to contribute to discussions, and as your time is limited – make sure the things you are contributing to are also from accounts with more followers than you have!
If you need someone to have a strategic and tactical look at your social media and make some recommendations then why not book a 1-1 with me. I charge £150 for a 45 minute review, but I also give away 3 slots a month to people on my email list – so if you are on it and you want a slot – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org If you are not on my list – go to the homepage of carolefossey.com and sign up now first.