Social media has been playing a pivotal role in transforming politics. Considering the digital platform it works on, social media helps political parties and politicians establish direct connections with people at a much lesser cost, yet with a kind of stupendous reach that traditional media cannot fathom. A political social media strategist is responsible for maintaining public relations aspects of a political campaign on social media. They are specialists who have a deep understanding of inner mechanisms of political campaigns and leverage their expertise to manage the digital facets of a candidate’s campaign.
Responsibilities of a political social media strategist relate to the type and level of campaign: local, state or national. The primary responsibilities relate to four aspects: planning/conceptualising, designing, execution/distribution, and promotion. All activities in a digital campaign must focus around these.
A political social media strategist provides assistance to politicians/parties in developing their campaign platforms on social media, creating ads and posts as part of executing the campaign, and distributing and promoting them to the relevant audience. Whether you choose to associate with a political strategy agency or work as an independent consultant, the responsibilities are the same.
Education and skill requirements: An aspirant must have a bachelor’s degree, while some may prefer pursuing a degree in political science, journalism, communication or PR. A background in political or legislative campaigns, along with experience in marketing, is a plus. Also, you must have a brilliant political acumen and knowledge of how social media can be best harnessed to derive fair mileage out of political campaigns. Strong communication skills, written and oral, that help you put your point across firmly work as an extra advantage.
On the technical skillset front, you can benefit from an understanding of reporting metrics to help you gauge the efficacy of social media campaigns you run. Despite the exposure a career as a political social media strategist can give you and the lucrative nature of the job, there is still a need for recognising and acknowledging this profession so that more and more youngsters are drawn to it.
The educated youth of today are better positioned to bring in freshness in ideas and astuteness in political campaigns. A novelty in approach with intent will not only benefit the parties they campaign for, but also add more meaning to them.
(The author is director of DesignBoxed, a political digital campaign management company.)