Swing States? How About Swing Networks by Danielle Killgore

We’ve touched on the importance of social media and the campaign before, and we’ll continue to watch as it unfolds - this is, after all, the first election with a serious social presence among candidates. But while the candidates themselves are Tweeting and Snapchatting - their social media teams are running the special plays behind the scenes. Social media isn’t just important, it could be a huge factor in the 2016 election. This recent article by CIO, Why social media could swing the 2016 presidential election, hones in on how different candidates are using social channels to effectively reach millennials.

And while millennials are readily available (does anyone really disengage anymore?), being able to market to them in a way that gets their attention and doesn’t feel like advertising is the tough part. Social channels that are seeing the most success in this are the likes of Periscope and Snapchat.

Video marketing is (currently) the favorite way for millennials to relate best to brands, organizations, and now presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a Snapchat and Donald Trump announced his run for presidency on Periscope. The idea being that these videos are quick, easy to digest, and aren’t like the typical election ads of the past. They’re not pushing messages to the consumer, but engaging with them on their interests and values - across a platform that they (the user) feels the most comfortable with.

The trickiest part is for brands and, in this instance, candidates, to navigate these channels without seeming intrusive. Millennials were there first, and they’re very aware when someone is intruding on their space.

A presence on a variety of social channels walks that thin line of engagement and campaign promotion by allowing the messages to vary  per channel. The article highlights how Clinton’s campaign posted a video on Snapchat wishing students a good first day back at school. No call to action. No campaign hype. No pushing of beliefs or slamming opponents - instead, it shows the side of her that’s like millions of others: A mom, a grandma, just another person on social media - who happens to be running for the most powerful position in the world, but hey...

This election will be telling in the success, or lack thereof, of social channels morphing business with pleasure as we choose the next president. And we’ll be Liking, Commenting, and Following along the way.

Advocacy, Design, and Education Team Up For The Cause by Danielle Killgore

There’s always more than meets the eye with any cause, but often what we see first is an online presence of our favorite brands, companies, and causes. And if that first impression doesn’t wow us, inform us, and allow us to take action - something is most definitely wrong.

When we began creating the site for Up4NYC, it was critical we executed those three things, and that we made the experience for the user completely effortless. When a site design, copy, and navigation work together - you have users who come back regularly and pass on to their networks.

So how do you do this? M3’s 3 basic tips.

The Design

Our rule of thumb when it comes to design is keep it clean and keep it simple. We’ve all experienced a website that’s overwhelming and overloaded with stuff. No one likes clutter. The Up4NYC site works because it creates a smooth transition on the page for the reader - the eye is able to gravitate toward each new section without it feeling like work.

The Information

Content is king. And like most kings, it’s key to be front and center. If users have to search for information, they will leave your site never to return. Put the most important stuff out there, right where they can see it. This isn’t a word puzzle. Let the copy be creative, but the creative should take a backseat to visibility.

It’s equally important to tell people what’s going on, in laymen’s terms. Jargon is easily lost and extremely boring, and is best kept for textbooks. It should be noted that we don’t recommend dumbing anything down. Your readers are intelligent and hand-holding is for rookies. What we do mean is that people should be able to get all the important info right away, allowing them to want to stay and browse the other facets and pages.

With Up4NYC, we wanted the most impactful words to hit right away.

“ADDRESS INCOME INEQUALITY AND NEW YORK CITY’S HOUSING CRISIS BY REQUIRING DEVELOPERS RECEIVING 421A TAX BREAKS TO BE HELD TO A STANDARD OF GOOD WAGES AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.”

If that doesn’t capture your attention and trigger a desire to learn more - well, you might want to check to see if the ol' ticker is still working.

The Call to Action

Whatever you do, do not forget to include a button or section that allows users to take action. People are on your site because they want to do something. Make it easy for them. There was nothing more important on our efforts with Up4NYC than users taking action right that day. And how simple. Right after gathering all the facts, while they’re still fired up and ready to make change, we offer them the chance to do so with one easy click.

People are seeking out your cause, they’re likely already interested in the cause - so it’s that much more important that the steps involved in taking action are extremely simple and quick to navigate.

One of the toughest aspects for social advocacies is forging supporters and gaining traction among those who believe in the cause. Don’t let the web design or content get in the way. Keep it straightforward and it will speak volumes for your cause.

 

The Path to Presidency is Becoming Social by Danielle Killgore

It’s no surprise that many of our conversations nowadays take place online, through email, chats, social media posts - the list is endless. We’re able to connect with people all over the world on any topic and one of the hottest topics currently is the presidential election.

“As the campaign season builds momentum, those posts will be accompanied by paid political video advertising, providing a healthy boost to the bottom line at Facebook, Snapchat and other social networks that stand to benefit from the new trend in campaign spending.” - LA Times

Social media has increasingly become a main source for news, debates, and opinions over the years. With that in mind, it’s become an even higher priority for candidates to appeal to their audiences through the varying channels. Traditional advertising methods alone just don’t cut it anymore.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, From Fox to Facebook, discussed the August 6, 2015 GOP debate, and analyzed user interaction on social media. Over 20 million interactions were reported on Facebook in the form of posts, shares, likes, and comments alone.

It’s worth noting that social media certainly isn’t new, and previous campaign initiatives have targeted younger generations through social media - it’s just that now more than ever, you absolutely need a social presence. People of all ages are joining the conversations across all platforms.

With the data and analytics that these social channels can now provide, and with their ability to target specific demographics with exact messages, video marketing is taking a front-seat. We couldn’t agree more, as experts in digital and social marketing, messaging, and analysis - we’re seeing a huge return for advocacy campaigns that bring in a mix of social and physical collateral, video and personalized assets.

People want to see a face, hear a voice, and interact with candidates. People want to know that they can have a dialogue online with the people who represent them in real life. Being in the mix isn’t a question of ‘if’ anymore, it’s a question of ‘how quick’ can you get on the front lines.