How Brands Are Using Social Media To Talk About The Elections
It’s less than a 100 days until the Presidential election occurs, and we wanted to check in with brands to see how they’re using their social media channels to promote getting out the vote campaigns. While it wasn’t necessarily a frequent topic of conversation among brands, of the 485 Top Advertiser Brands we looked at between June 28 – July 28, 2020; we did identify some key strategies for how these brands are using social media to encourage the audience to do their civic duty and participate in the November 3 elections.
Strategy #1: Framing Voting As Empowering
ABC generated 683 responses around a July 4th Instagram video post in conjunction with the nonpartisan I am a voter.® movement promoting voting and civic engagement, which reminded people of all the races at stake this November, along with a prompt to register to vote and sign up for election reminders. It’s worth noting that the CTA included the full URL to the I am a voter.® website, even though Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in posts. Even without a live link, it’s easy enough for users to cut and paste the link.
Tying the act of voting to a holiday like Independence Day, reinforces how patriotic individuals can impact change, and such a strategy makes sense both in general and also around upcoming holidays like Labor Day.
Strategy #2: Celebrity Advocacy
Hearing a respected public figure talk around the need to get out and vote sometimes helps brands grab the audience’s attention in a way, a more generic message wouldn’t. For instance the NBA received 817 responses around a Facebook video where John Wall talked about the importance of voting in local elections. Getting a familiar face to speak from the heart about why voting is important to them will help drive home the point for the social media audience.
Strategy #3: Reassure About Safety
Unlike any other election in recent memory, because of the coronavirus, people could literally be risking their lives by going to the polls. The AARP received 1,934 reponses around a Facebook link to a post addressing those issues, sharing the latest CDC recommendations for voting safely in the November elections. Especially with older voters, explaining how voters can participate on Election Day with the minimal risk to their health is valuable information that brands can share.
Strategy #4: Speak Directly To Your Employees
Between June 28 – July 28, 2020; the U.S. Army shared 3 posts about how service members can vote via absentee ballot which averaged 7,403 responses per post. These types of brand posts serve two types of functions; giving employees invaluable information about how they can vote abroad while also illustrating to customers and potential employees that voting is something that your brand values.
Strategy #5: Celebrate The 19th Amendment
There were 3 social media posts between June 28 – July 28, 2020 by the United States Postal Service that generated 1,536 responses advertising stamps commemorating women getting the right to vote. While selling stamps is a tactic pretty specific to the Post Office, using the history of voting rights to motivate people to vote in the present day, is a social media strategy that’s relevant to a much wider range of brands.
Social media is a big part of how brands stay part of the cultural conversation and as we get close to November, the election is going to be more and more what everyone is talking about. By urging the social media audience to take part in the Democratic process, brands can stay top of mind, while also contributing a public service.
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