Loyalty, unlike awareness, takes time to develop. It finds its roots in the trust, familiarity and respect that stem from frequent interactions with an organization, and the repetitive validation of a value alignment without which these interactions are meaningless. Through the use of social media, organizations can breed loyalty in their members by interacting regularly with them, befriending them, and empowering them to make a difference.
I discovered this quote in Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard while researching for my thesis. Though the book is clearly written with brands in mind, it fits perfectly with political marketing.
Politics is a relationship. One person seeks the trust of another. If he or she breaks that trust, the privilege of receiving their constituents’ votes is lost. The best politicians on social media stand out because of the extra effort they put into it – not just posting regular, interesting content, but engaging with their followers and developing that relationship. That’s what makes social media special, and it can be a deciding factor in who people vote for.
I still get excited when a politician or candidate I admire tweets me back. It shows they care what I think – even though 9 times out of 10, I don’t live in their district. I only wish more would take advantage of the huge potential engaging users on social media provides.