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Yard signs aren't just for lawns anymore.
They’re now cropping up on social media feeds as often as they are staked into the ground. If you're allocating some of your campaign budget to yard signs, get the most from them by incorporating them into your social media strategy. Here are some ways to do that:
Get Started With An Announcement
Campaigns are most likely to use yard signs on social media to let supporters know they are available. Take this Facebook post from Blake Emmanuel, a candidate for school board in Pennsylvania.
She’s doing a few things right. While social media is more likely to get requests for individual signs on private property than, say, taking your signs to a local party meeting, it can't hurt to reinforce the point. Blake is clear about how voters can get a sign for her campaign in the message, which is also a best practice. This should go without saying, but be sure to include an image of the sign as well.
In Utah, John Curtis for Congress has been retweeting his supporters' campaign sign pictures like this one.
With three consecutive tweets, you got to wonder if he asked his supporters to post a picture of their sign on social media. Regardless if this was a stroke of luck or a concerted effort, your campaign should include a one page information sheet along with their sign that provides at least the following:
• Ask they post a picture of the sign on social media and tag the campaign.
• What to do if a sign is stolen.
• How to return the sign following the election.
• Campaign contact information.
Essential Yard Signs Social Media Posts
Content is at the heart of a social media marketing strategy. There are three essential posts that you should include in a social media content plan.
When the sign was ordered: Turn your print-ready artwork into an image file that you can post on social, and show your supporters what's coming.
When signs have arrived: Unboxing videos are popular generally and there's no reasons why showing your supporters the signs that have just arrived wouldn't be a hit with them as well. Video is preferred, but a photo will work in a pinch.
When you're ready to take sign orders: Get another opportunity to distribute content that your supporters are interested in by posting separate messages about the arrival of signs and the particulars of how people can get them.
There are a number of other social posts around your yard sign order that you should consider, as well such asking your audience to decide what design they like best and taking pre-orders. If you're planning on asking for a donation in exchange for a sign, your budget will thank you if you take pre-orders by tapping in your social media audience and email list before buying.
Other Sign Social Media Strategies
In addition to these best practices, the only limit to how you can incorporate yard signs into your social media strategy is your imagination.
Before there were memes, there were yard signs. If you've designed a sharp looking yard sign, change out the words to a new message and post on your social media channels. Now you've got a custom-designed meme background for your campaign.
Campaign signs are often seen early in a campaign to increase candidate name recognition and late for visibility. During GOTV, ask supporters to post their yard signs again and share those posts on your campaign social media accounts.
Signs and Social are Better Together
While social media breathes new life into campaign signs, the effectiveness of your social media channels will increase by including signs as well. If you're running digital for campaigns, you know that if you want to see be seen organically in an increasingly pay-to-play world, you need high engagement rates. Yard sign posts are going to get the likes, retweets, replies, and comments that you need to reach a larger audience and improve the health of your social media accounts overall.
Ben Donahower owns Campaign Trail Yard Signs -- the authority on campaign signs.