Guidelines and Greatest 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. In contrast, in the present day, 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 consider the function of social media in politics, it’s secure to say that it has turn out to be a essential part of political campaigns. Learn on for info, 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 adverts about “social points, elections or politics” since Could 2018

That’s way back to knowledge 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 adverts on this class.

Supply: Meta Ad Library Report

The number-one all-time prime 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, People are more and more getting their information from social media websites (extra on that later). However they nonetheless don’t belief the data 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 data 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 basically can be extra destructive than that of Democrats. For instance, 83% of Democrats say social media is an efficient software for elevating public consciousness about political or social points. However solely 71% of Republicans agree.

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

On Twitter, the quantity is far larger: 45% of U.S. adults say they’ve Tweeted about political or social points throughout the final 12 months. And 33% of Twitter content material incorporates some type of political content material.

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

Total, individuals say social media has the best optimistic influence on being knowledgeable about present occasions – each regionally and world wide. The best perceived destructive 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

America is certainly one of solely three nations surveyed the place nearly all of individuals stated 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

People’ use of social media for information hit a peak through the 2020 lockdowns and has solely dipped barely since. Half of People both typically or typically get their information from social.

graph of news consumption on social media

Supply: Pew Research Center Social Media and News Fact Sheet

After all, typically social media can be the supply of political information that leads to extra mainstream media information shops. For instance, from early 2016 till his Twitter and Fb accounts have been blocked in January 2021, it was unattainable to keep away from information protection of Donald Trump’s social media posts, even should you by no means visited a social media website.

Social media generally is a place to interrupt information or a spot to make information, relying how you employ 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 necessary software for getting youthful voters excited in regards to 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 consists of new voters eligible to take part in elections for the primary time.

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

Facebook political campaign Meta Ad Library

Supply: Meta Ad Library

Social media may also help improve voter participation

Get out the vote (#GOTV) and voter training campaigns have turn out to be a social media staple. Since these campaigns typically intention to get extra youthful individuals out to vote, social media is a pure platform.

For instance, the nonprofit Symbolize.Us created a social marketing campaign during which celebrities acquired bare to clarify 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 turn out to be 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 unattainable to speak in regards to the energy of social media in politics with out acknowledging the methods during which it has gone flawed through the years. Maybe the best-known instance is the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Knowledge from hundreds of thousands 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 by 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 adverts. Fb additionally eradicated sure types of advert focusing on.

Guidelines and laws for a social media political marketing campaign

Guidelines for political adverts on Fb and Instagram

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

These adverts should undergo an advert authorization course of that features checking authorities ID and having a residential handle within the nation during which the adverts will run.

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

about this ad BC Green Party paid for this ad

Supply: Fb

Guidelines for political adverts on Twitter

Rules for Twitter political ads fluctuate by nation. In lots of areas, political adverts will not be allowed in any respect.

Nevertheless, in america, political adverts 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 adverts can solely be promoted by Promoted Advertisements and Follower Advertisements (different Twitter ad types are off-limits). Advertisers have to be based mostly inside america and should get pre-approval to run political marketing campaign adverts.

Guidelines for political adverts on TikTok

TikTok does not allow political ads. It’s necessary to make clear that features political branded content material – paying creators to put up political content material will not be allowed on the platform.

TikTok bans for presidency workers and gadgets

Many governments and authorities companies have outright banned TikTok on office gadgets, and even on workers’ private gadgets if they’re additionally used for work functions. This consists of 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 machine, examine together with your employer to see should you fall beneath 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 lively

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 begin. 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 enable you higher perceive who’s already speaking about your candidate or social subject on-line, and which platforms they’re utilizing.

2. Publish persistently

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 overlook about you when your account goes dormant.

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

After all, this generally is a problem for grassroots campaigns and candidates with a restricted crew. Social media scheduling instruments like Hootsuite may also help benefit from your time by permitting you to bulk add content material and schedule social media posts prematurely.

Hootsuite additionally supplies personalized suggestions on the best time to post, so you will get the utmost consideration to your efforts.

3. Use social media for fundraising

Social channels are an necessary 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 targets.

It’s also possible to 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

Notice that TikTok is a vital 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 get together 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. Publish content material that’s straightforward to reshare

Practically ⅔ of American adults’ political Tweets are the truth is retweets, with no extra enter from the person. A further 9% have been quote Tweets and 25% have been replies. Solely 4% have been absolutely unique Tweets.

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

Supply: Pew Research Center

Make it straightforward 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 website they use most or second-most for his or her job. Fb is subsequent at 52%.

As well as, a recent academic analysis discovered that politics and the economic system was the commonest topic space during 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 fitting tone for every platform

User demographics fluctuate considerably among the many social platforms. Because of this, it’s necessary 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 photographs of candidates wanting completely happy carried out finest on Instagram, whereas photographs during 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 wise presence—and an engaged viewers—on social media with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you possibly can simply:

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

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

→ Interact residents
→ Handle disaster communications
→ Ship providers effectively

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