This year has set the bar for memorable political debates. Whether you’re sitting back enjoying a cold one or simply cringing through the entire 90 minutes wondering what is wrong with humanity, there is something to be learned from the madness. Presidential candidates rely on commercials, public speeches and appearances to gain their supporters, just as business owners use similar techniques to market their companies. So before you think about turning the channel during the next presidential debate, watch and learn from the most prestigious marketers out there.
Here are 3 marketing do’s and don’ts you can take away from the debates this election season:
1. DO talk about relevant subject matter.
Just like at the debates, you should be talking about things that are relevant to you and your company, as well as what is happening in the world. Sparking conversations with your audience helps build relationships and also increases your activity on social media. People love to give their opinions, especially on social media platforms, so get them talking!
2. DON’T ignore issues and point fingers.
If a customer posts a negative review on your business page, the worst thing to do is ignore it. Addressing comments and concerns on social media is extremely important. Not only are you replying publicly to the person who is upset, but everyone who reads the bad review will see that you took time to address the issue and weren’t afraid to try and fix the problem. Even though you may feel the same anxiety as Trump does about releasing his tax returns, responding and actively trying to fix any negative feedback will only help your reputation.
3. DO fact check all information that you are sharing.
Now, you don’t need to run a live fact checker on your webpage like Hillary, but always make sure the information you’re putting out is actually true! Stay away from blindly sharing articles without reading it in its entirety. Think about that one friend you have on Facebook… the one that shared the post of a guy who won the lottery wanting to give a random person who shares the post 1 million dollars. You know you rolled your eyes as you were scrolling through and thought, “what idiot would seriously fall for that?” Don’t be that guy.
4. DON’T say controversial things just for attention.
This should probably go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people might actually need to hear this one. There is a difference between using shock factor to catch the attention of your audience and blatantly being offensive. Shock factor can be a positive tactic to draw in your readers and start dialogue, if done correctly. Think about Lady Gaga showing up to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in a dress covered in meat. Did she offend anyone? No. Was everyone looking at her instead of her competition? Absolutely.
5. DO go out and connect with your audience.
Just like a presidential candidate, you should be constantly marketing yourself and your company. Knowing who your audience is and making yourself available to them is a great way to retain your relationship with clients. You may not be able to fill a stadium with thousands of people like Trump or Hillary, but thats okay! Go out and make personal connections with potential and existing clients. Make sure that they have a face to put with a name and that they feel comfortable coming to you with their business.
6. DON’T violate government regulations.
If your company is regulated by HIPAA, SEC, FTC, etc, make sure the content you are posting does not violate any laws concerning your business. Pay close attention to the rules and constantly remind yourself to double check all publicly posted material for classified information such as patient information, legal advice or brand names. You wouldn’t want to have to delete 30,000 Facebook posts to keep yourself out of trouble, so stay on top of the game.
It’s surprising how much one can learn from watching two grown adults debate on live television. Marketing strategies are constantly changing, and sometimes keeping up with the trends is difficult. The best way to hone your marketing skills is to watch what others are doing and put your own spin on it. So, next time you’re watching a cringeworthy public speech, take some notes!