4 Personal Branding Tricks You Can Learn From 2016 Political Candidates


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Election season is always full of candidates clamoring to bring their agenda to the public, highlight their accomplishments, and deliver subtle jabs at their opponents. Politicians have teams of handlers working around the clock to craft the perfect social media presence, but anyone can learn from these media titans’ techniques to build support for their own personal branding campaign without having to run for office.

  1. Present Yourself as the Authority on Current Events

Politicians often refer to their experience in relation to problems that are currently relevant in the country. For example, candidates who have sat on public affairs committees offer their expertise regarding issues like immigration and foreign aide. With this in mind, craft your social media presence around a series of possible scenarios. This can include a variety of topics that pertain to your area of business, such as starting a small business or recruiting talent for a creative team. Plan ahead and position yourself as an authority on a topic based on your experience and wealth of knowledge. By relying on past experience, you gain more trust from your followers and come across as quick-thinking when you’re the first to offer insight on your social media accounts.

  1. Integrate Events Into Your Social Media Persona

Although he’s not in the running for the 2016 race, President Barack Obama had a highly successful social media campaign during his 2012 presidential run and owed some of his triumph to connecting live events to social media. The President would often live tweet and stream his public appearances which allowed people to feel instantly connected to the event without actually physically being there. Real time social media connection also facilitated instant interaction and reach for the audience at large. Integrating your own events can include conferences you or your business are hosting, events you’re attending, or recognizable events that relate to your field (Disrupt events, national conferences, etc). Engaging your audience is made even easier by using instant video apps like Meerkat and Periscope to share quick videos across all of your social media accounts. This will engage your audience with a vicarious experience as well as allowing your style of speech to shine in the way you deliver what you’re seeing.

  1. Align Your Personal Brand Image With Your Platform 

Some political candidates find it difficult to be successful in social media campaigns because their personalities do not fit the casual nature of an online presence. It can read as disingenuous if candidate’s social media accounts take a casual, relatable tone when they are perceived as unapproachable or simply playing into an agenda. Candidates that are perceived as “Everyman” types or “Outlaw” types tend to be more successful because they fit into the diverse nature of social media. When building your own personal branding campaign be sure to immediately align your brand persona with how you want you and your business to be perceived. Otherwise, it can be extremely difficult to change the public’s perception once it has been set.

  1. Make Your Words Catchy and Get Yourself Trending

Campaign slogans have remained a constant attribute of election cycles for decades. However, these old stand-bys have been reconstituted to fit social media through the use of hashtags and keywords. When Republican candidate Rand Paul officially announced his entry into the 2016 Presidential race, he coupled the announcement with the successful #ReadForRand hashtag. #ReadForRand offered a simple, catchy means for people to show support for the candidate while simultaneously gaining attention on a national scale, both from the politically minded and neutral alike. Highlighting personal successes or important events with customized hashtags and keywords is a useful way to get your personal social media accounts noticed and help shrink complicated achievements into bite-sized chunks.

Politicians are rulers of dynamic advertising campaigns and reaching into untapped markets. By using some of the same techniques as master statesmen you can gain more social media visibility, demonstrate your expertise, and bring clients to your business.



Larry Alton

Writer, Freelancer

Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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