How to use Facebook for political communication

Many parties and politicians are already active on Facebook . They use the platform to inform citizens about their party work and to enter into dialogue with them. But the requirements for the platform have changed a lot.
Until a few years ago, Facebook was mainly characterized by texts, but today authentic and visual communication is more important than the written word.
If you look at current election campaigns, classic campaigns still seem to work: from the poster, which we will probably survive for the next generation, to the street stand to personally convince citizens of their own party, everything is on offer. But more and more often the own campaign is continued in social media, mainly on Facebook.

Citizens like to use Facebook to engage in political debates by posting their own posts and commenting, liking or sharing other posts. It is therefore not surprising that more and more politicians and parties are increasingly active on Facebook in order to talk to citizens and inform them about their policies.
More and more Germans are also using Facebook politically, as the past few years have shown. Facebook has become one of the most used news sources.
Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not ignore this trend and has obliged her MPs to take 'social media' courses .

So it is not surprising that the majority of politicians and parties maintain a network profile on Facebook. However, these profiles are no guarantee for an extensive dialogue with the citizens. Many simply lack the background knowledge of how the channel can be used particularly well for political communication.

First of all, it is important to look at the changed communication behavior. Of the 22 million people who use Facebook in Germany every day, 85 percent access the platform with their smartphone.
Political content must therefore be presented in a short and understandable way - with short videos, infographics or a concise statement.
If you don't manage to wrap your own position in one or two concise sentences, you should publish a longer article on your own homepage and share it on Facebook. Especially in the political environment, well and convincingly written opinion articles are often very successful. That doesn't mean posting a press release one-to-one on Facebook. Rather, it is about personal explanations and clarifications: Why was a certain decision made? What was the background for this?

Away from static presentation towards multimedia reporting

Where Facebook was primarily characterized by the written word until a few years ago, authentic and visual communication is essential today. But forget about image motifs that you also know from newspapers or television.
It is much more exciting for Facebook users to get a look behind the scenes of the election campaign and party work.
Show the things that the citizen does not otherwise get to see. Use apps to make your multimedia work easier. Instagram, Layout or Boomerang are just a few examples of what Facebook makes available to you.

The use of Facebook is clearly moving in the direction of video and live video , especially in politics. The most personal form of presenting oneself is still communication via moving images. They create a special closeness. Short videos in particular are popular on Facebook. The first three seconds often decide whether the video is watched or not. So you should avoid opening credits and address the audience directly. Subtitles are absolutely necessary, because most people do without sound.

We are seeing more and more live videos in politics, for example to broadcast statements or press conferences. But that doesn't really make use of the possibilities of this new medium.
Much more exciting is the use as a digital question time.
Take ten to 15 minutes and answer questions from the community - this is direct exchange and communication at eye level succeeds. You can also take a stand on controversial topics.

Especially nowadays, Facebook can be an important tool to intensify the contact between people and politics and to set own topics.