Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+. The list of social media sites is growing, so how are membership organisations using social media to improve participation in an election?

These days social media channels cannot be ignored as a weapon in your election communication arsenal. Social media is quick, easy and free!  But…unless you know that the majority of your members are using the same social media channels as you and are likely to not only see but interact with your posts, social media should not be the only channel used to encourage participation.

However, used as part of an integrated engagement campaign, organisations can find social media a very effective way of  getting the message ‘out there’ and promoting different stages of an election process.

1. Promote your election on social media sites

If your organisation uses social media, you can use your chosen sites to communicate election-related messages. Election services provider, UK Engage, works with organisations to administer all types of internal elections and offers a service to develop a social media campaign for the duration of an election. Keep messages in line with your constitution and do not break your election rules.

2. Social sharing

If your organisation is holding an online ballot and the e-voting platform incorporates a social sharing function, like UK Engage’s does, then members can tell family, friends and acquaintances that they have voted in the election. This reinforces your organisation’s social media activity and can also prompt other members to vote.

3. Encourage feedback

If you get responses to your social media posts then your members are participating. Let your members know you are listening with ‘likes’, ‘favourites’, ‘retweets’ etc. However, be aware that you may not always get positive feedback, so stay in touch with your social media team and consult your policy of how to handle negative comments.

On that note, before using social media to improve participation in an election, check your social media policies and procedures, alongside the rules of the social media sites you choose to use.

If you would like to see an example of a typical social media engagement plan that we would recommend for an organisational election, please feel free to contact UK Engage on 0345 293 5555, email enquiries@uk-engage.org or tweet us @UKEngage

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