For those people I talk with regarding Job Hunting, the term “post and run” typically refers to applying for a job online and running off to the next opening and posting your resume for the next position and running to the next… 

This can also be referred to “Spray and Pray” tactic in that you “spray” your resume in as many open positions and “pray” that you get a phone call. Not an effective way to get a job.

In Social Media I see the “Post and Run’ tactic applied all the time, by companies, and since this is a political season, by elected representatives and candidates. Now think about the last two groups of people – elected officials and political Social Media Collagecandidates.  Both tend to be people that are also out “job hunting.” They are campaigning to get brand or name recognition, build awareness and hopefully get your vote, but they seem to always “Post and Run.” Think, a campaign is a long duration interview with the hiring managers; the voters. You had better be holding dialogs with the “hiring managers” and not just talking “at them.”

It seems that politicians, like companies that have no clue of what they are doing in social media, are applying traditional outbound or “shout” marketing tactics in social media, like Facebook and Twitter. That is to say, sending out one-way communications and not participating in, nor encouraging any conversations.

I have been following all the candidates running for the 2012 Nebraska U.S. Senate race.  Not one really knows how to use social media properly.  Pat Flynn is showing some signs of getting “it” in one Facebook conversation, but all the others are just sending out one-way communications; Bruning, Stenberg, and Fischer. If any one of them really wanted to separate themselves from the crowd, they would start conversing. They may just be surprised at the results.

Social Media is about “Sharing”

While Social media is about sharing, I am bored to tears if I see yet another press release “shared” as a post on Facebook, a blog post, or an update on LinkedIn. It makes little difference to your audience if all you are doing is posting messages and never engaging in the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against press releases as a valid traditional marketing tactic, they are not a great use of social media channels. This really explains why some of the candidates (Bruning’s political machine is an exception) have so few followers! Most of the “conversations” taking place under political posts are people with differing points of view basically “shouting” as each other, which may be a factor in the lack of engagement by any candidate.  That does not speak well of our society. Candidates need to engage in some of the best practices of social media customer service;  engage in the conversation, defuse the issue and win over some friends. You are not going to win all the time, but the engagement will convince others.

Social Media is about “Engaging” in the conversations

Any political candidate that wants to score points and really take a lead in their campaign will “engage” in social media conversations.  Remember, the campaign is like a long drawn out interview and interviews are conversations/dialogs. You don’t get an offer if you don’t hold a dialog with the interviewer.  The dialog during an interview, will let hiring managers get to know you and that builds trust.  It is the trust factor that engaging in conversations is what the politicians just don’t seem to get. The voters are the hiring managers and you need to dialog with them.

Social Media is about being “Real”

I know, most all the political social media posts are being done by “hired guns” and not the actual elected official or candidate.  That is really so sad as social media is supposed to be “real.”  The political machines that run campaigns are so “old school thinkers” that they cannot see what the true potential of using social media in the way it supposed to be used; to listen, to engage, and to publish.

Social Media is No “Substitute”

It would really be refreshing if a candidate would actually engage in the conversations, to show how “real” they are and perhaps the electorate could actually get to know and trust our elected officials?  Still social media is not a substitute for face-to-face conversations.  It is, however, a complementary tool that could be used to let the audience know a little bit more about you, trust you more and perhaps hire you at the next election. Then again that would be asking for the world to be turned upside down looking for an “honest politician.”

What do you think?