By: Catherine Gustafson

With the continued rise of social media in public affairs, it’s crucial to maintain a meaningful presence online, but how? Twitter now has 328 million monthly active users, Instagram has 700 million monthly active users, and Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users. As social media usage continues to grow, it presents a challenge for organizations to keep up with the vast amounts of data available. However, it begs the question, “is it all relevant?”

At Influence Opinions (IO), we like to say we work in precise data, not big data. Big data can be difficult to digest, so we refine the data and focus only on what is important and achievable. In public affairs, the number of people who engage with your content isn’t always what is most important; it’s who engages with your content, and focusing resources to raise visibility within key conversations can be a difference maker.  

For an organization to effectively deliver targeted messages, they need identify both their capital influencers and digital influencers. Capital influencers are the people who make a policy or a political decision on the issue you care about, or who have significant influence on the person who makes the decision. These people will ultimately determine the success of your policy initiatives.

Digital influencers are people who have the right reach, authority, and relevance online specific to your issue. They are the top voices online surrounding a particular issue, and they have positioned themselves as thought leaders among various audiences.

The key is finding the place where capital influence meets digital, and understanding how to connect them. Having a precise list of individuals to engage allows an organization to prioritize their time and efforts on the conversations / people that are most important to the success of the organization and issue.

A modern public affairs campaign will use a variety of tactics and tools to achieve a policy goal. Digital advertising tools and platforms are critical, and they have advanced dramatically in terms of scope and capability within the past few years. We can now target ads by demographics, geographies, income levels, job titles, level of education, and even specific interests with a tailored message.

For this reason, digital advertising is becoming a trusted tactic for advocacy organizations because it is an inexpensive way to reach a hypertargeted audience with tailored messaging. The idea is to strategically promote key messages, images, and video content to the audience that is most likely to respond. By focusing on key influencers and using the latest tools, IO has been able to maximize the impact of ad spend for clients and exceed industry benchmarks for engagement and clicks.

Whether your organization is fighting to pass a bill in the legislature or working to garner community support around an issue, engaging the right people can positively affect your organization and further your legislative agenda. Contact IO to learn how to sift through the noise and best allocate your resources to produce a win for your organization.

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