Social & digital media
Candidates are increasingly publishing their own content via websites, blogs and social media to directly connect with voters. This can offer a cheap alternative to advertising, but you need to be prepared to commit the effort to raise your profile online.
It can also be helpful to have a supporter base of family and friends who are willing to share and help promote your campaign through their own social media networks.
Social media is easy to use and it's relatively low cost – all a candidate needs is access to the internet via a computer, smart phone or mobile device.
It provides a quick and easy means of connecting with voters and keeping them up-to-date with your electoral platform and campaign.
Social media is all about having conversations. It is not just about broadcasting your platform but engaging with voters, responding to their questions or concerns, sharing information and having them recommend you to their friends. It is a good way to hear from voters about what is important to them.
Candidates using social media such as Facebook and Twitter must be aware that any material published or broadcast during the election campaign is electoral material.
Accordingly, candidates must be mindful of their obligations under the LG Act with regard to the publication and distribution of this material.
Websites and blogs
Some candidates set up a website or blog to further engage with voters. They publish content to their site, such as media releases, surveys, campaign updates, voter platform etc. and then share this on their social media channels.
Always remember to include an authorisation message on your digital channels.
- Engage with voters by responding to comments, posts and messages
- Always be courteous, patient and respectful of others' opinions, including detractors.
- Be accurate, constructive, helpful and informative
- Correct any errors as soon as possible
- Protect your personal privacy
- Be sensitive to the privacy of others. Seek permission from anyone who appears in any photographs, video or other footage before sharing these via any form of social or online media. If asked to remove materials, do so as soon as practicable
- Be clear about your identity as a candidate in the election – never use fictitious names or identities that deliberately intend to deceive or mislead
- Don’t publish information or make statements which you know to be false or may reasonably be taken to be misleading or deceptive
- Avoid comments, contributions, forwarding, posting, uploading or sharing content that is malicious or defamatory.