I know I am not alone in Facebook and Twitter being an important part of my personal life not just my business. There’s nothing like watching the Cardinals #win their third straight division title (100-59) while rallying with family and friends, both in reality and virtually. We even create hashtags to enhance the experience — #CardinalCaucus.
At Trace Strategies, we employ the use of social media every day for our clients because it works and works well. The ability to create a message for a very specific audience and deliver it to them on a regular basis for a negligible cost AND get their feedback — it’s a complete game changer.
Social media has taken over politics — literally. A venue for every age and demographic with new apps being created almost daily gives interested parties new opportunities and reach.
Facebook has over a billion active users; this is why politicians and campaigns are scrambling to figure out how to maximize these tools.
In the 2014 election cycle, Trace, in addition to our grassroots efforts of hitting 144,000 doors and making more than 60,000 live calls, did a three-week digital Get Out the Vote effort where we had 3 million impressions over 100 unique micro targeted ads, reaching 410,000 Arkansans.
We found that our strategy matched the 52 percent female voter ratio on Election Day and the 53 percent Cotton female voter win ratio — powerful.
Folks use social media like we previously used radio. They tune into pages or streams that fit their life, like having listened to Jake Buck rather than Steve Stone, making them easier to identify and communicate messages, meeting them where they live. Promoting without seemingly “advertising.”
Unlike TV or radio where messages go to very broad audiences, many whom are often not your targets, with social media, you can customize ads and messages for a particular voter, in a very specific area — maximizing time, money and energy.
Another strength of social media is people can now communicate with their spheres of influence in an instant with one post. We all know people we know and trust have more influence over our decisions — this truth was substantiated by a report from Journalist’s Resource which said, “Strong ties between friends proved much more influential than weak ties: Close friends exerted about four times more influence on the total number of validated voters mobilized than the message itself…. Online mobilization works because it primarily spreads through strong-tie networks that probably exist offline but have an online representation.”
According to a new study, conducted by Pew Research Center, “clear majorities of Twitter (63 percent) and Facebook users (63 percent) now say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family. That share has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users (52 percent of Twitter users, 47 percent of Facebook users) said they got news from the social platforms.”
Additionally, Americans who follow political figures on social media tend to be highly engaged with various aspects of the election campaign. Among other things, they are more likely than voters who do not follow politics to encourage their friends to support a candidate or issue at the polls (62 percent versus 39 percent).
What makes social media so appealing? The biggest factors include instant sharing with friends, instant feedback, the ability to mobilize like-minded folks quickly, donating toward a cause practically anywhere with Wi-Fi and a handy credit card, and specific news outlets that cater to a specific demographic.
So if you’re not engaged, go get signed up and start posting, liking, sharing, following, tweeting and pinning — it’s where the action is and decisions are being made. #Fact