Rules and Best Practices for 2023

Social media and politics have been firmly entwined ever since then-candidate Barack Obama used social networks to launch a grassroots 2008 presidential marketing campaign that engaged voters and donors in methods not seen earlier than in federal politics.

In 2008, Obama had five million social followers unfold over 15 social networks. Against this, immediately, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has 8.6 million followers on Instagram alone. Donald Trump has 87.5 million Twitter followers.

It doesn’t matter what you concentrate on the function of social media in politics, it’s protected to say that it has develop into a important part of political campaigns. Learn on for details, stats, and finest practices for utilizing social media in politics.

Social media and politics: Stats and facts

1. U.S. advertisers have spent $3.79 billion on Meta advertisements about “social points, elections or politics” since Could 2018

That’s way back to information goes within the Meta Advert Library, which reveals all advert spending on this particular promoting class. Throughout that point, there have been almost 15 million advertisements on this class.

Supply: Meta Ad Library Report

The number-one all-time high spender is Mike Bloomberg 2020 Inc. The marketing campaign spent greater than $63 million to advertise Mike Bloomberg’s Fb Web page throughout his presidential bid.

2. American political candidates shared nearly 14,000 Tweets per day in October 2022

That’s based mostly on a Pew Analysis evaluation. It checked out accounts for greater than 8,000 candidates on the federal, state, and native stage main as much as the midterm elections. Within the 10 months main as much as the midterms, they posted almost 3.4 million Tweets.

3. 38% of Democrats belief social media data, in comparison with 27% of Republicans

Total, Individuals are more and more getting their information from social media websites (extra on that later). However they nonetheless don’t belief the knowledge they discover on social to almost the identical diploma as they do data sourced from extra conventional media organizations.

Democrats are more likely to trust national news outlets than Republicans

Supply: Pew Research Center

Nonetheless, Democrats and those that lean left are more likely to belief the knowledge they discover on social media websites than are their Republican counterparts.

Republicans’ view of the influence of social media on politics and the general public opinion usually can also be extra detrimental than that of Democrats. For instance, 83% of Democrats say social media is an efficient device for elevating public consciousness about political or social points. However solely 71% of Republicans agree.

4. 23% of U.S. social media users publish about political points

On Twitter, the quantity is way larger: 45% of U.S. adults say they’ve Tweeted about political or social points inside the final yr. And 33% of Twitter content material accommodates some type of political content material.

5. 87% of social media users in superior economies say social has been factor for democracy

Total, individuals say social media has the best optimistic influence on being knowledgeable about present occasions – each domestically and all over the world. The best perceived detrimental influence is the potential for misinformation.

most say that social media has been good for democracy but has had important negative and positive effects on politics and society

Supply: Pew Research Center

6. However 64% of Americans say social media has been dangerous for democracy

The US is one among solely three nations surveyed the place the vast majority of individuals mentioned social media was dangerous for democracy. The others have been the Netherlands (54%) and France (51%).

more Americans see negative political impact of the internet and social media, compared with other countries surveyed

Supply: Pew Research Center

How does social media have an effect on politics?

Social media is a supply of reports

Individuals’ use of social media for information hit a peak throughout the 2020 lockdowns and has solely dipped barely since. Half of Individuals both generally or usually get their information from social.

graph of news consumption on social media

Supply: Pew Research Center Social Media and News Fact Sheet

In fact, generally social media can also be the supply of political information that results in extra mainstream media information retailers. For instance, from early 2016 till his Twitter and Fb accounts have been blocked in January 2021, it was inconceivable to keep away from information protection of Donald Trump’s social media posts, even should you by no means visited a social media web site.

Social media is usually a place to interrupt information or a spot to make information, relying how you utilize it.

Social media is a platform for political campaigns

Social media is an efficient platform for campaigns to get out their message and generate marketing campaign funds.

It’s an particularly essential device for getting youthful voters excited concerning the democratic course of. 47% of 18-to-29-year-olds within the US. say social media has a optimistic influence on democracy, in comparison with solely 23% of these over 50. That group of younger adults contains new voters eligible to take part in elections for the primary time.

Politicians and political campaigns use social media, together with social media political advertisements, to garner consideration and assist even outdoors of election cycles. Looking on the Meta Advert Library reveals which social media political campaigns are working advertisements on Fb and Instagram in actual time.

Facebook political campaign Meta Ad Library

Supply: Meta Ad Library

Social media will help enhance voter participation

Get out the vote (#GOTV) and voter schooling campaigns have develop into a social media staple. Since these campaigns usually goal to get extra youthful individuals out to vote, social media is a pure platform.

For instance, the nonprofit Characterize.Us created a social marketing campaign through which celebrities obtained bare to elucidate the intricacies of voting by mail (together with the potential for disqualified “bare ballots”).

Rock The Vote has been encouraging youth voter participation since 1990. Social media has develop into a key pillar of their work, and in 2022 they reached greater than 12 million people on social media.


Diddy in 2000 for our #RapTheVote marketing campaign 🗳️ #RockTheVote #BlackHistoryMonth #Diddy #PDiddy #VoteTok #Throwback

♬ original sound – Rock The Vote

After which there’s the darkish facet…

It’s inconceivable to speak concerning the energy of social media in politics with out acknowledging the methods through which it has gone unsuitable over time. Maybe the best-known instance is the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Information from tens of millions of Fb customers was secretly harvested and misused to “micro-target” voters within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Twitter was additionally a supply of problematic content material and misinformation within the 2016 election, together with via content material posted by Russian “coordinated influence accounts.”

In response, social platforms bulked up their guidelines for political content material and, particularly, social media political advertisements. Fb additionally eradicated sure types of advert focusing on.

Rules and laws for a social media political marketing campaign

Rules for political advertisements on Fb and Instagram

Meta has a specific set of rules for advertisements that fall inside the class of “social points, elections, or politics.” These embody advertisements for or about political candidates, PACs, elections, voting, social points, and different political promoting.

These advertisements should undergo an advert authorization course of that features checking authorities ID and having a residential deal with within the nation through which the advertisements will run.

Advertisements on this class should have a disclaimer stating who paid for the advert, accessed via an “About this advert” button.

about this ad BC Green Party paid for this ad

Supply: Fb

Rules for political advertisements on Twitter

Rules for Twitter political ads fluctuate by nation. In lots of areas, political advertisements aren’t allowed in any respect.

Nonetheless, in the US, political advertisements are allowed so long as they:

  • Don’t embody false or deceptive content material
  • Adjust to disclosure and content material legal guidelines

U.S. political campaigning advertisements can solely be promoted via Promoted Advertisements and Follower Advertisements (different Twitter ad types are off-limits). Advertisers should be based mostly inside the US and should get pre-approval to run political marketing campaign advertisements.

Rules for political advertisements on TikTok

TikTok does not allow political ads. It’s essential to make clear that features political branded content material – paying creators to publish political content material is just not allowed on the platform.

TikTok bans for authorities workers and units

Many governments and authorities businesses have outright banned TikTok on office units, and even on workers’ private units if they’re additionally used for work functions. This contains at least 25 U.S. states, all U.S. government agencies, the U.S. Senate, the Government of Canada, and the European Commission.

This impacts many political campaigns, particularly these run by incumbents – whose staffers are authorities workers. Earlier than making a TikTok account, and even downloading the app onto your gadget, test along with your employer to see should you fall below a TikTok ban.

For extra particulars on utilizing social media after being elected, try our posts on social media and government and social media compliance.

6 ideas for working an efficient social media political marketing campaign

1. Know the place your viewers is energetic

Any efficient social media marketing campaign begins with audience research. The place is your viewers spending most of their time on social media?

This chart from Pew Analysis is an effective place to start out. For instance, Fb and YouTube have bigger representations of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, whereas Reddit and Snapchat are most popular by Democrats.

demographic profiles and party identification of regular social media news consumers in the U.S.

Supply: Pew Research Center Social Media and News Fact Sheet

A strong social listening strategy will assist you higher perceive who’s already speaking about your candidate or social concern on-line, and which platforms they’re utilizing.

2. Submit constantly

It is perhaps tempting to blast your social channels with content material within the weeks or months surrounding an election and fall silent afterwards. This might trigger followers to tune you out (and even mute you) throughout your content material blitz and neglect about you when your account goes dormant.

As an alternative, create a social media content calendar and posting schedule to unfold your content material out in a extra constant means. Sure, you’ll doubtless nonetheless be extra energetic main as much as an election, however until your candidate or trigger is gone from public life altogether, posting often retains your followers engaged in order that they’re there the subsequent time you want them.

In fact, this is usually a problem for grassroots campaigns and candidates with a restricted staff. Social media scheduling instruments like Hootsuite will help benefit from your time by permitting you to bulk add content material and schedule social media posts prematurely.

Hootsuite additionally gives personalized suggestions on the best time to post, so you may get the utmost consideration for your efforts.

3. Use social media for fundraising

Social channels are an essential part of any political fundraising technique. Attempt a hyperlink to your donation platform in your bio, and create content material that explains how donations are used to additional your political objectives.

You can too use the “Donate Now” call-to-action button in Meta ads to bolster your fundraising marketing campaign.

BC Green Party ad Donate Now button

Supply: BC Green Party on Facebook

Observe that TikTok is a crucial exception right here. TikTok insurance policies prohibit campaign fundraising in any form. Particular examples TikTok mentions embody “a video from a politician asking for donations, or a political celebration directing individuals to a donation web page on their web site.” Politics and cash don’t combine on TikTok, so preserve this in thoughts when planning your social media political marketing campaign proposal.

4. Submit content material that’s simple to reshare

Practically ⅔ of American adults’ political Tweets are in reality retweets, with no further enter from the person. An extra 9% have been quote Tweets and 25% have been replies. Solely 4% have been absolutely authentic Tweets.

majority of political tweets from U.S. adults are retweets

Supply: Pew Research Center

Make it simple for individuals to amplify your message with social content material that’s enjoyable or inspiring to share, whether or not that’s a unusual Tweet:

Or a screencap-sharable Instagram story:

I Voted Instagram Story


5. To get journalists’ consideration, use Twitter

69% of U.S journalists say Twitter is the social media web site they use most or second-most for their job. Fb is subsequent at 52%.

As well as, a recent academic analysis discovered that politics and the economic system was the most typical topic space through which information publications used Twitter as a supply.

In case you’re attempting to make or break information on social media, Twitter is the place to be.

6. Use the best tone for every platform

User demographics fluctuate considerably among the many social platforms. Because of this, it’s essential to check your tone and messaging on every platform you intend to make use of.

For instance, research on political social posts main as much as the 2020 U.S. election discovered that pictures of candidates trying blissful carried out finest on Instagram, whereas pictures through which the candidates appeared calm fared finest on Fb.

Slightly than posting the identical content material to all of your social accounts, use customized cross-posting that tailors your content material and messaging to every platform. Put a social media testing plan in place to refine your platform-specific technique over time.

Save time constructing a sensible presence—and an engaged viewers—on social media with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you may simply:

  • Plan, create, and schedule posts to each community
  • Monitor related key phrases, matters, and accounts
  • Keep on high of engagement with a common inbox
  • Get complete efficiency experiences and enhance your technique as wanted

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Ebook a customized, no-pressure demo to see how Hootsuite helps governments and businesses:

→ Interact residents
→ Handle disaster communications
→ Ship companies effectively

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