Published on November 6th, 2018
In the current United States political climate, today is a very important day.
Across the country, midterm elections are being held to determine a number of powerful positions including gubernatorial and cabinet seats that will heavily impact the “blue and red” division that seems to have taken over Washington, D.C.
This election is also historically one of the most diverse in the country’s history, including over 400 female, minority, and L.G.B.T.Q. candidates.
So, needless to say, it’s kind of a big deal.
Many social networks are doing their part to make sure citizens get out to vote, and in the process, they’re showing us, marketers, once again, just how effective they can be in fueling a movement and building a sense of community
Like many of you, as I scroll down my Instagram or Facebook feeds today, I find them flooded with selfies and artsy photos of my friends, family, and peers showing off their “I Voted” stickers.
These posts create a sense of community among citizens and voters and also, frankly, urgency to participate in order to “belong.”
Many platforms are taking it upon themselves to encourage users to vote (and tell others to as well) by showcasing a variety of election-themed features.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Today, upon openingu their Facebook mobile apps, users are met by a banner saying “It’s Election Day! // Show your friends how you’re participating today,” followed by posts from friends talking about the election.
The platform then cleverly fuels action by giving users the option to either find their polling place if they haven’t voted yet or to share that they voted on their profiles if they have.
Similar to parent company, Facebook, Instagram is cheering users on by prominently featuring a “We Voted!” Story, that compiles the posts of any of your friends who use the platform’s “I Voted” sticker.
The sticker also pops up as the first option when you add something to your own Story.
Last, but not least, Snapchat has been running its election campaign for quite some time.
Today, the platform features election day themed geo-filters, an “I Voted” story similar to Instagram’s, polling locations in Snap Maps, themed Bitmoji, and election night live streams to report the winners.
However, even leading up to the election, Snapchat proudly did its part. The app featured dynamic geo-filters counting down to the big day and successfully registered 400,000 voters when it temporarily added a “register to vote” button in September.
Ok, That’s Cool -- But Why Should You Care?
While all these fun and shareworthy election day features may not be usable for your brand’s marketing, their existence and prevalence right now are very telling case studies for the power of social media.
Each social network used its most unique, popular tools (i.e. filters, stickers, stories, location information, partnerships like Bitmoji) to not only create a distinct, memorable experience but unite its users around a common goal/message and get them to spread it on their own.
They didn’t force anyone to post about their political activities, they simply gave them the tools and created a welcoming environment for them to do so.
This, my friends, should be every marketer's long-term goal: To create a passionate community of individuals who truly want to talk about your brand and share your message.
You too can use the unique tools on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and a host of other platforms to effectively reach your audience and spread your message.
While your purpose or mission may not be as volatile as a national election, it should be something that your audience wants to show that they are a part of.
And my fellow marketers, social media continues to be one of the most compelling ways of doing that.