Twitter for political campaigns isn't as easy at it seems. Think before you tweet and don't pick fights you can't win are lessons that are often hard won by candidates. Social media can be a fraught playground and Twitter, more than anywhere else, takes no prisoners.
Used wisely, Twitter is a superb way to communicate with potential voters. The short format lends itself to memorable soundbites and it can be used to develop conversations easily. The fact that every Presidential candidate for 2016 has an active Twitter account and tweets regularly shows how seriously it is taken by the establishment now.
Already during the 2016 US Presidential race we have seen our fair share of Twitter battles. When candidates go on the attack Twitter is often the vehicle for them to ridicule their competitors. Having good staff on standby to respond to these attacks is essential.
Trump vs Bush
No one does a Twitter spat quite like Donald Trump. Jeb Bush was angered in the recent Republican debate by Trump criticizing George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks. Trump stated that his stance on immigration would have prevented the disastrous attacks and felt that the elder Bush should accept some of the blame.
Hillary vs The Emojis
Hillary Clinton is not immune to making the odd blunder on Twitter either as we can see here. In an effort to tackle America’s student-debt issue, she posed the question to students to sum up their feelings in a language they could understand!
Hillary was attempting to reach out to her younger voters here and she can be forgiven for falling victim to the “learn how to talk like a millennial” starter kit. Emojis are everywhere, frequently used in every aspect of digital media these days but perhaps the subject matter deserved more than emojis.
So while we can all appreciate the importance of politicians having a presence on Twitter, they, more than most, need to understand how to utilize it correctly.