Twitter. Everybody’s using it, but I’ve seen no end of frustration in campaigns trying to make it work (including my own). I’m not going to get into a lot of examples here, but just today I’ve seen a frustrated Democratic club vow to leave twitter because of lack of RTs and link clicks and another activist working with campaigns vent that other activists will follow but not help spread messages.
It is absolutely essential that left-wing activists, organizers, candidates and campaign staff begin to use Twitter to its full potential. Used well, Twitter is a hyperpowerful and efficient hybrid of SMS, e-mail, LinkedIn, a Rolodex and the Yellow Pages.
Journalists are following social media closely, and traditional media are focusing on news that breaks on Twitter and on the number of followers that candidates and campaign have gathered. A good Twitter presence will help your campaign.
I believe that for the left to be effective on Twitter, we need to stop using it as a chat room to trash opponents, and turn our activities here into a powerful network to organize, interact with supporters and potential supporters, and push the clear and concise message that our ideas our better.
While we may not always agree on candidates, we should be uniting post-primaries to follow and promote our candidates, and we should be organizing around the central Twitter efforts of important progressive ballot measures. There is much more to say, and I hope that you will contribute in the comments. If you are working on a progressive campaign or cause and are already familiar with the basics of Twitter, I have a quick and dirty strategy guide I’m happy to share – follow me and let me know you want it.
If you’re still working on the basics of Twitter for organizations, check out this helpful public guide.