Quick tips for better political social posts

Politicians are often gifted communicators but sometimes their social media posts let them down. You’ve probably seen the sorts of posts I’m talking about; a politician starts a tweet with “Today I gave a speech…”, or “It was great to be here…”

Wowzers – politicians meeting each other. NaffAF.

Woah – a politician who gave a speech or visited a place in their electorate?! It begs the question, what on Earth do you do on your days when you don’t meet your constituents? Shuffle paperclips?

Even worse is the super-saccharine “Today I joined with <other politician> to announce ….” approach.

The one thing even more boring than politicians meeting other people is politicians meeting with each other, so why lead with the most dreary, predictable, asinine thing possible?

So I’ve written ten quick ideas to start a social post that aren’t quite so naff. These are particularly for politicians doing their own social media during the coming Australian election, but many people can benefit from this approach, particularly if you’re starting out as a social media officer for an organisation.

In journalism, there’s a very old aphorism that “dog bites man” isn’t news, but “man bites dog” is. Because news has to be interesting, it has to be new. I don’t really care about a dog doing a thing that many dogs tend to do, but I sure as hell want to read more about the crazy guy who bit rover.

Social posts don’t have to be new to be interesting, but they sure as hell have to save some surprising element to keep people interested, something intriguing, something that’s not naff.

Most of these ideas follow a simple approach. Just use a little anecdote, put the subject of your post first and tell a little story. Yes, this is technically a third-person personal narrative, but these days if you even mention the word “narrative”, people quickly spew forth some corporate brand proposition or something equally vomit-inducing. Some sort of hook would also be good. And no, you’re not the subject of your post. Instead, introduce the main character of the story you want to tell.  

So here’s the list. Go bananas.

  1. There’s one thing that will always scare <subject> at night.
  2. What on Earth do <these seemingly unrelated things> have in common?
  3. You don’t meet many people as crazy as <name of subject>…
  4. This is the most heartwarming story ever.
  5. We’ve either done something very stupid, very crazy or very useful.
  6. When <subject> was a child, nobody ever imagined this might happen.
  7. <Subject> is the most inspiring living being in the whole of <town/state/country>.
  8. These days everybody has agenda. Even <subject>…
  9. These two people used to hate each other. That was before <some amazing thing happened>.
  10. You will never meet someone braver than <subject>…

Yes, this may take time and inspiration, but please don’t put your readers to sleep. If it seems too hard, find someone who can do it for you and pay them.

Sorry to everyone I’ve offended. But something needed to be said.

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