With less than 30 days before Election Day, most campaigns have shifted their focus from identifying their voters to turning them out. In some cases that means planning to get them to the polls on Nov. 8, and in others it’s making sure that they mail in their absentee ballots.
After months, if not years, of fundraising, polling, debating and strategizing, it’s go-TV time.
Because Facebook can be integrated with the voter file, a modern campaign can use this powerful messaging tool to leave the Internet cloud and enter the realm of boots on the ground. Here are three ways campaigns can use the social media platform to boost their traditional GOTV efforts.
Call for volunteers
If you’ve been using Facebook consistently, there’s no doubt that your most ardent supporters are connected to your page and count on it as their preferred campaign news source. Take advantage of this by posting calls for volunteers, phone bankers, and canvassers to supplement your paid staff and make sure your campaign team has the human resources it needs to hit your voter contact goals.
Call for vote by mail voters
If you properly segmented your voter file/Facebook profile integration, you know which voters are permanent Vote-by-Mail voters. Now that absentee ballots are arriving in mailboxes, make sure your Facebook messages remind these voters to vote for your candidate. Campaigns have a unique and cost-effective opportunity to have their “vote by mail” messages seen several times as voters are receiving their ballots. You should be posting constant reminders to these voters that your positions are in tune with theirs and that you need their votes now.
If your Facebook messages are being targeted to confirmed high-prosperity voters, then make sure you treat a Facebook “like, comment or share” the same way you treat someone on the phone who confirms that they support your candidate.
In other words, if a registered voters “likes” one of your GOTV Facebook posts, you will want to tag them in your voter-contact system as a potential, if not likely, supporter. A well-executed and targeted Facebook post can identify more potential voters than hours of phone banking (particularly when many people no longer answer their phones). It’s less staff intensive, more cost efficient and incredibly adjustable.
Beyond these strategic uses of Facebook, I would encourage campaigns to all use their social media accounts as a rallying and persuasive tool. To hype up their voters, show campaign momentum and make sure they know where the candidate stands and why they are the best choice for leadership.
Brian Ross Adams is a Los Angeles-based digital consultant to Democratic campaigns and advocacy groups.