While Hillary Clinton had a big night on Tuesday, her Democratic opponent is no loser. In fact, when it comes to grassroots organizing, the winner of the 2016 presidential race is clear: Bernie Sanders.
Look at the social networking numbers alone."Sanders has about 165 Facebook pages with 7.3 million likes, and nearly 200 Facebook groups with more than 358,000 members; (Hillary) Clinton's numbers are roughly half that," according to The Nation.
The secret weapon behind this viral political marketing campaign is Slack, according to the magazine. A recent interview with Sanders campaign senior advisors Zack Exley and Becky Bond reveals how you can steal some of Sanders' grassroots grandeur, especially when it comes to keeping your remote workers organized and results-oriented.
"Slack, a popular commercial platform that allows for real-time collaboration among teams using either a smartphone app or an app on your computer, has been crucial," Bond told The Nation.
Here are three tips you can learn from the campaign about using Slack and other tools to organize your remote workforce.
1. Encourage your team to use technology to stay connected.
The Sanders campaign gives volunteers a long leash to organize. The trick is to keep everyone committed to one another -- and the cause.
The Sanders advisors note that Slack allows volunteers to coordinate independently and keep the ball rolling without the need for constant oversight from a centralized authority. "Volunteers carry the load of countless tasks, and when they get stuck they can just tag a key volunteer or Bernie staffer who weighs in on questions big and small," Bond told The Nation.
And beyond tech, a further key is to ask staff to watch out for one another, Exley says. "If you ask me, the most innovative thing to talk about here is the way we're setting volunteers up to make commitments to each other instead of to paid staff, in ways that ensure follow-through on hard, scary things like hosting phone banks and leading canvasses--and all the tools and techniques that allow for all this to scale massively."
2. Rethink how (and how often) your leaders should work.
A leader need not work from headquarters or lead for longer than a day. The Sanders campaign has broken down the burden of taking the helm in such a way that volunteers can oversee projects and group tasks remotely, and for short periods of time. Volunteers coordinate, hang out and bond on Slack.
"Instead of naming folks to lead geographic fiefdoms, we've tried to open-source our campaign strategy and actually share work that needs to be accomplished," Bond says.
Through Slack, volunteers are plugged in and ready to communicate and campaign in real time. "They want to help Bernie win, whether that means knocking on doors or downloading and using a Slack app," Bond.
3. Provide the tools -- and then take a step back.
Slack is a key channel the campaign uses to monitor feedback as it moves through the volunteer pipeline. But the campaign lets volunteers do their thing and watches them go. The goal is to prioritize independence and "bottom-up creativity," the Sanders advisors say.
"Today, there's way more going on out there than we're even able to track. Local individuals and groups are still free to organize whatever kinds of events they want. We focus on providing tools, support, and structure that local teams run with if they want to do what our field leaders say is the most valuable work they can be doing: direct voter contact," Bond says.