Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Campaigns Need Early Effort to Leverage Facebook

If you expect your 2014 political or advocacy campaign to benefit from a Facebook following, you need to start early, advises a recent epolitics.com post. For example, in last year’s Virginia governor’s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s campaign spent time and ad dollars to build his Facebook following as early as possible. His goal was to create a base of "social validation" for late-cycle persuasion and GOTV ads. He leveraged the fact that Facebook enhances ads on its site with socially validating information (“X likes this” or “Y people like this”) to get more people to click, exploiting the psychological power of "everybody’s doing it." But for followers’ Likes and Shares to influence their friends, you need to have followers! So start building a Facebook following as early as possible, and that means an investment in advertising. And consider emulating the Virginia Democrats in another way, too. They used a Facebook app that matched the central voter file with their supporters’ friend networks. If supporters allowed it, the campaign could look through a supporter's friends to find priority voters already targeted for outreach, and then ask the supporter to reach those target voters with messages designed to appeal. Again, this technique only works if you have built a critical mass of supporters! So, get going on that Facebook outreach ASAP. See the post at

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