Get Out the Vote with Social Media: Digital GOTV

How to Use Social Media for Get Out the Vote

The lion’s share of your political or advocacy campaign will be spent on message development and saturation. But as Election Day looms, you’ll have to start focusing your efforts on get out the vote/ GOTV. While you should make sure to include the rest of your online platforms in your GOTV efforts, a good place to start is social media. Not surprisingly, it’s a great digital platform for social pressure. You can use social media in a few ways to encourage your target audience to vote.

Remind Your Audience That Their Friends Will Be Voting on Election Day

Studies  show that people are more likely to vote if they think a lot of other people will be participating in the election too, this is called social pressure.  Where better to remind your target audience that their peers will be voting than on social media? You can create static or video ads with your get out the vote message that will appear on a voter’s news feed as they’re scrolling through updates about their friends.

Reward People Who Pledge to Vote

We know from testing that making a plan to vote increases voter turnout. A great way to help your campaign succeed is to help voters make that plan. You can provide tools to help them plan out their schedule on Election Day or a place where they can pledge to vote that reminds them of up-to-date voting locations on your website.  To incentivize these planning activities, you can give voters  a free image that is sized for social media for them to post on their personal profile after they complete one of these actions on your website. The user can download an image for their profile picture or cover photo, which will let their friends know that they plan to vote on Election Day. When the voter posts the image to their profile, their friends will know that another peer plans to vote, which will increase the pressure on them to vote (while also helping to pressure the poster to keep their pledge, as they’ve made a public declaration). Make sure you check the specs required on the social media platform you think your audience will use most or create multiple sizes for multiple platforms.

Target Your Audiences Correctly   

The strategies listed above will help you get out the vote, but make sure the voters you’re galvanizing support you. While earlier parts of your campaign may have been focused on persuading undecided voters that your candidate or cause are worthy of voting for, the audience you target for your get out the vote campaign should be different. Typically, the most important people to reach with your message are those who are likely to vote for your cause but don’t always vote.