Social media are “the simplest way a voter of any background can voice concerns to their president — unless he chooses to silence them for a few bad jokes”.
Yes, it can be tough sometimes to hear some comments. Unfortunately, many are those who get carried away and become disrespectful on social (media) networks, but the worst thing to do is to lock yourself up, block these people, and turn your account into a private one. Here, I discuss the effects of those practices and suggest you a solution.
What shouldn’t be done on Twitter as an elected representative
☞ Blocking someone on Twitter, it’s like slamming the Divisions’ Office door into the face of an unsatisfied citizen.
An elected representative must listen to every citizen, no matter their political affiliation or their approval for the job. An elected representative is first and foremost his co-citizens representative. Deleting the communication channel that the co-citizens use to reach them is like slamming the Divisions’ Office door to their faces: it’s a reckless, irresponsible and disrespectful gesture, full of heavy consequences. Donald Trump has learnt it the hard way when :
a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump has to stop blocking people on Twitter because it violates the First Amendment.
If blocking someone on Twitter is, in politics, one of the worst practices, it’s in fact it’s not as bad as the image shown when an elected representative turns their Twitter account into a private one regardless of the fact that they are public figures working for their co-citizens.
☞ Having a private Twitter account
In the 21th century, politics must be as transparent as possible, and always direct. Considering this, nothing is worse for an elected representative, in terms of image, than turning his Twitter account private. The message sent to the co-citizens is clear: close-mindedness and lack of transparency. Especially when we know that the main goal of social (media) network is opening-up, transparency and exchanges.
- The risks of blocking our detractors
☞ Besides the human impact, the risk of a media crisis
Aside from making important damages to the elected representative’s image and becoming the source of great tensions between him and his co-citizens, the practices that aim to silence the citizens are, rightly, very criticized by influencers and journalists.
Let’s remember François Legault’s case, Québec’s second opposition party leader; CAQ (Coalition Avenir Quebec). He was known for blocking many of his accusers. Until the day many citizens blocked by the CAQ’s leader manifested themselves and showed their dissatisfaction. After that, Mr. Legault unblocked a great number of his detractors, but the damage had already been done.
☞ Detractors are unexpected allies
There’s something you have to keep in mind: your most devoted detractors are your best allies too. Thanks to them, you can identify the less admired traits of your personality or the weaknesses of your program and, then, you can correct them.
The solution: give some time and energy to answer those who are unsatisfied
While working at the Québec Liberal Party, but also for many elected representatives, I noticed on different occasions that replying to your citizens allows you to improve the exchanges quality – be it telling them that you’re there for them, that you listen to them, that their worries are understood and heard by the ones in charge.
Being an elected representative is listening to your co-citizens and giving them a voice.
It [Twitter and social (media) networks in general] is the simplest way a voter of any background can voice concerns to their president — unless he chooses to silence them for a few bad jokes.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need recommendations or some help analysing your social (media) network. Stratégie LG is there to help you define an effective strategy that will make you send your messages to the right people and make your notoriety or your party’s grow.