Social Media: The good, the bad and the ugly
by Ron Holmes, Founding Principal at Ron Holmes Consulting LLC
@RonHolmesIL

The conversations that once took place at kitchen tables across this country are now taking place on social media platforms with global reach. Sports enthusiasts no longer have to wait for the evening edition of SportsCenter to see highlights of their favorite team. Investors no longer have to wait for the morning paper to read stock prices. And voters no longer depend on traditional news sources for their political news. Why? Because the Internet.

So, whether you’re a social media novice or getting ready to sign up for a social media platform, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:

It’s free! Whether you’re a County Chairman or simply a party activist, there’s no excuse for you not to have a social media account to help push your message. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all free so get off the sidelines and get into the #ilbudget debate and tell the Governor to #dothejob!

It’s a great way to build your network. Social media is a great way to find like-minded activists or to find reporters that may cover your issues. It’s also a great way to start a dialogue with elected officials. Make sure to use the search feature with key words to find folks that can help you build your local party organization.

It’s an opportunity to proactively tell your story. It’s 2017, you’re probably on the internet somewhere. Whether you like it or not, someone is talking about your campaign or efforts to improve your community. Don’t let them fill the vacuum. Proactively push your message and don’t just get pushed around.

It doesn’t take a lot of time. Just ask President Trump, those tiny hands can really push out tweets…

The bad:

It’s not a replacement for traditional campaigning or lobbying elected officials. Sorry folks; social media is a tool, so you’re still going to have to talk to people if we’re going to win elections and govern. So, in the words of former First Lady Michele Obama: let’s move!

You’re not going to become a social media expert overnight. You’re just not but practice makes perfect, so there’s that.

Trolls. Seriously, some people are the worst. Just remember, the internet is a big place full of “unique” opinions. You’re not going to be able to change everyone’s mind so remember to #resist.

The ugly:

It’s permanent. Sorry Mr. President…