Social media like a wrench; you have to turn them the right way

Here’s message to candidates in Red Deer that are trying to target the youth vote: social media is a lot like a wrench; when you know how to use it properly it works wonders, but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox.

Here’s message to candidates in Red Deer that are trying to target the youth vote: social media is a lot like a wrench; when you know how to use it properly it works wonders, but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox.

When I like a candidate’s Facebook page, I am hoping to learn more about them on a level not possible through other forms of traditional media.

So here are some things I’d like to see from the candidates in Red Deer:

• Respond to questions that people have written on your pages. If you can’t respond to a quick question on a social networking site, why would I expect you to answer an email from a constituent once you’re elected?

• Write statuses that are meant to inspire debates and don’t delete negative comments; more debates mean more activity on your page.

• Create polls, make videos, post photos of yourself campaigning, and don’t take yourselves too seriously (the most viral videos and tweets usually have a touch of humour).

• Lastly, work on the other tools in your toolbox as well. Use social media to help strengthen your campaign, but don’t rely on it to win the youth vote.

Include us in other ways: go to the high schools and the colleges and talk to the students directly, strengthen your social media pages, show up to youth-friendly events in the community, engage young volunteers in your campaign, and promote parts of your platform will appeal to us.

Good luck to all of the great candidates in Red Deer; hopefully I’ll be seeing you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger … and at the ballot box on May 2.

Angelika Matson

Red Deer

{Political Science student

at the University of Ottawa)