Top 10 Facebook Rules for Public Affairs

Feb 21, 2012

Leveraging the power of third parties and actively engaging with the social media public are key elements in creating a successful public affairs campaign on Facebook. That’s according to San Diego’s leading public affairs firm, Southwest Strategies (www.swspr.com), which recently unveiled the top 10 Facebook rules for winning support for controversial projects. This new twist is based on successful models used by Southwest Strategies.

“Just being on Facebook doesn’t move the needle in the political realm,” said Southwest Strategies President Chris Wahl. “As with all communications tactics, it’s important to be strategic with your outreach and these 10 Facebook recommendations are designed to help improve the likelihood of success when dealing with a controversial issue.”

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Public relations practitioners are in constant debate over the best way to use Facebook. But these conversations generally revolve around increasing awareness, sales or market share. Rarely do they focus on how to use Facebook to build political support for a project. With that in mind, Southwest Strategies’ “Top 10 Facebook Rules for Public Affairs,” are outlined below:

  1. Launch when ready, not before – Make sure you have at least 100 “likes” in place before you officially launch, otherwise you run the risk of being embarrassed or criticized for a poor effort.
  2. Commit to a regular posting schedule – At least twice a week. Nothing is worse than stale information in a forum that’s supposed to be the latest and greatest.
  3. Actively respond and engage – It’s not enough to just post. You must respond, advocate and defend your space and position in the social media world.
  4. Make your case – Don’t forget to address the Who, What, Where, When and How on your landing page. Too often, Facebook pages ignore the basic facts of an issue.
  5. Be creative – Quality over quantity is always best. Interesting photos, brief videos, news articles and short questionnaires are great ways to keep content fresh.
  6. Leverage the power of third parties – Engage your friends, supporters and colleagues to post and respond to posts. Third-party advocates are always more credible than project applicants.
  7. Cross connect – Spread your message across several social media platforms. Sync your Facebook and Twitter accounts and link to your YouTube channel.
  8. Take advantage of website traffic – Prominently display your Facebook account (and a “like” button!) and a direct feed from your account on your website’s homepage.
  9. Ad it up! – If budget allows, use advertising to promote your Facebook page. Be thoughtful and strategic when targeting your audience.
  10. Develop a “voice” – Be edgy and provocative. You will get a better response if your company’s brand attaches a personality to the message

Using these rules, Southwest Strategies has assisted a number of clients with successful Facebook programs, helping them to secure project approvals.

About Southwest Strategies
Southwest Strategies offers a full range of communications and strategic services for a diverse client list. The firm’s services include public affairs, community relations, crisis communications, public relations, media relations and government affairs. The company has been ranked by the San Diego Business Journal as one of San Diego’s top 10 public relations firms. Alan Ziegaus and Chris Wahl formed Southwest Strategies in April 2000.

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