|Not all communication is equal, and as voters and activists get inundated with requests from both local and national campaigns to give their time and money, it’s important for campaigns to get creative with their asks. In the digital age, there are a lot of new ways people can show their support for a candidate. This week we took a look at how the Virginia campaigns have been asking for help.
Please “Like” Me
We noticed that a lot of campaigns in Virginia have run ads asking for Facebook page Likes. There are a few reasons for this. First, General Assembly campaigns don’t have big paid media budgets, and advertising campaigns to gain page likes are much cheaper than email acquisition – so it’s a smart strategy for a small buy.
Second, gaining a large page following helps validate future Facebook ads. When an ad pops up on the timeline, it shows the user their friends who like that page, which is believed to improve the level of engagement – see below for an example ⬇️
Pledge to Give Me Your Email Address ✉️
Email fundraising is one of the easiest ways for campaigns to rake in small-dollar donations, but building an extensive list can be tricky and expensive. Ron Meyer is running for the Republican nomination in Senate District 13 and already has over 7,500 followers on Facebook. With an established social media presence, Meyer is one of only a few campaigns actually running email acquisition ads by asking for supporters to pledge to vote.
Field wins elections, and it’s never too early to be out on the doors. But without an established team of field organizers, which most campaigns haven’t hired at this point, targeted digital ads can be an effective and efficient way to bring in volunteers to canvass. It’s the clearest example of how to leverage online communication to get offline action.
It’s Like A Yard Sign But For Your Facebook
People love putting a filter on their Facebook profile picture, and it especially took off in the political space during the 2016 elections. But Carolyn Weems, who is running for the Republican nomination in Senate District 7, might be the first Virginia General Assembly candidate to run paid ads asking supporters to add her campaign’s frame to their profile picture. It’s like a virtual yard sign that doesn’t cost you anything – and at least you won’t have supporters complaining that it was stolen.