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With Governor Perdue’s announcement that she will not seek reelection the North Carolina political landscape has shuffled quickly. As of today, candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor (with Walter Dalton’s entry into the Governor’s race) have 107 days to raise money, reach voters, and win a statewide primary. This compressed schedule is unprecedented in North Carolina politics.
 
In order to quickly build buzz, build their list, raise money, and reach voters, all of the candidates should seize the opportunity to become the social media candidate for Governor/Lt. Governor.
 
A few hundred bucks spent on targeted (read: don’t just throw ads up…) Facebook advertising, web videos produced at the fraction of a price of television ads (make sure that they have an actual narrative and theme), a well designed website (could be had for less than $12,500), and well written emails can begin to build the foundation that is needed.
 
The joy of the internet is that it moves at light speed, which is necessary in this short of a campaign.
 
The steps above will get you the foundation of what you need, but to get to the next level you really need to embrace the power of social media.
 
Capture behind the scenes photos using Instagram and post to Facebook and Twitter.
 
Share stories, tidbits, and anecdotes about the candidates that show them to be real people, who care about the rest of us.
 
Post rough cut videos of the family spending time together on the road.
 
Speak in the candidates own voice through the social media.
 
Brad Miller, Cal Cunningham, and other potential candidates have already shown a willingness to use social media to elevate their voice. If others seize on their example, and make it part of the campaign’s DNA, then they have a real shot.
 
Simply putting up a Twitter account (Lt. Governor Dalton…) isn’t enough, you must use the platforms to show that you are different if you hope for real success.
 
Guest Blogger Nation Hahn is the Director of Engagement at New Kind (http://www.newkind.com) in Raleigh.
 

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