The Federation of Small Businesses has a plan to bend the ears of politicians by using social media to engage them over contracting issues.
The FSB is hard at work campaigning for freelancers, umbrella company contractors, and small business owners in the run up to 2015’s general election by harnessing the power of social media. The trade industry body calls it the #ibacksmallbusiness campaign, with the hashtag leading to a website of the same name that provides space for small business owners and prospective candidates a place to share content such as quotes, infographics and videos from across the UK.
Candidates for parliament will have the ability to check the pulse of the contracting community when it comes to the challenges individuals face in their constituencies. The FSB is encouraging these candidates to post or tweet messages featuring the hashtag as well as exhorting freelancers and other self-employed Brits to post content to the website.
Honestly, I think it’s a fantastic new way to harness social media and put the kinds of challenges self-employed Brits directly into the spotlight. There’s something like 4.6 contractors and freelancers in the UK right now – at least that’s what the Office for National Statistics says anyway – and this represents a massive voting bloc that politicians can ignore only at their peril.
Does it sound like wishful thinking to you? Well it’s most likely not. Political figures are keenly aware of social media, or at least tech-savvy politicians are, and with the digital landscape being able to make or break a political candidate in the current day and age it’s become increasingly important for anyone seeking public office to maintain a strong online presence. This includes interacting with members of the general public; the benefits of being seen as accessible online can lead to impressive gains in the polls.
In other words, you’ve got to be stark raving mad to pass an opportunity like this up if you’re a candidate for the upcoming general election. For what it’s worth, politicians need to take every opportunity to press the flesh of their constituents – and if they can manage to do it from the relative comfort of inside their campaign headquarters it would be a particularly foolish person indeed to not do so.