How is Bernie Sanders Winning at Social Media?

By Ashley Hoppe on September 07, 2015


However you feel about the politics of Bernie Sanders', there is one thing you have to admire about the 73-year old senator from Vermont's strong showing in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination: He knows a thing or two about social media (SM). 

Sander's Twitter campaign #FeelTheBern, and his official FaceBook page have become the driving forces behind the large turnouts at Sanders' rallies throughout the country, and have helped to catapult him from a relatively unknown dark horse candidate into second-placed contender in the polls.

How you can make your social media campaigns more like Bernie's?

The success of Sanders' SM prowess is enough to make even tech-savvy business owners stand up, take notice, and begin to feel a slight twinge of SM envy. 

Instead of being jealous of the Sanders campaign's ability to use SM to fire up the public, businesses can begin to use the same techniques to create a similar type of buzz for their companies. 

So, how has Sanders managed to become so popular online, and how can you emulate his success for your own brand? 

  • Identify your core customers. Sanders is a master at connecting to those voters who already share his own long-held political views. Sanders has a very clear view of his supporters which allows him to craft his posts to appeal to their needs and wants. As a business owner, you need to know your target customers inside and out, so your SM messages have the same laser-like focus.  
  • Share your company's culture and philosophy with your customers. Bernie offers a consistent message which keeps in line with his beliefs, and doesn't alter depending upon current trends. His messages are always authentic and believable. He is upfront, and unapologetic about what he stands for, and what he plans to do in the future. Your business can follow his example by connecting with customers on a personal level by minimizing sale-oriented messages, and instead concentrating on messages which showcase your company's views and opinions.
  • Develop and encourage your brand's advocates. The power behind Sanders' SM campaign's success is his ability to actively engage and inspire dedicated supporters to work as advocates on his behalf. Brand advocates are the people who will help your SM marketing viral. Providing these types of people with interesting and easily shareable media formats, like videos and graphics, are some of the best ways to start a strong grassroots interest in your business. 
  • Avoid negativity in your social media campaigns. While other candidates trade social media barbs, Sanders keeps the conversation positive, and dictates his own agenda. This leaves him above the fray, and far from the cross-hairs of other candidates. As a business, it is important that you control the conversation. While it may feel good to write a post on your competitors' gaffs and follies, in the end, it is never worth the potential backlash.

The political election process in the US is not often a reliable model on how to do something correctly, but Bernie Sanders' SM campaign may be an exception. Don't miss the opportunity to step up your own social media marketing game by using some of his techniques.


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Published by Ashley Hoppe September 7, 2015