Does this bring in money or votes? Newsletter 24
Hey there! I’m Hannah Flom, Director of Content Strategy and Distribution at the DNC. For this next post-election edition of “Does this bring money or votes?” I’m here to talk about how we built a digital ambassadors program with influencers, content creators, and advocates to seed the internet with voter education info and mobilize their followers to the polls.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a dramatic increase in the amount of social media content consumption across social media — from Facebook to TikTok and beyond. So we designed a content distribution program to meet voters where they are online, with content they want to consume, and from a messenger they trust.
Let’s dive in.
In partnership with the Biden for President campaign, we launched a first-of-its-kind digital ambassador program — dedicated to turning out a young, diverse crowd for the election.
To power this program, we invested in a new tool called Greenfly. Greenfly is a content distribution app that allows us to send graphics and videos, along with a suggested caption, to users via push notification — and they are able to post directly to social media. We first saw great success with this tool during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and continued using it to mobilize voters this fall.
We worked with a variety of partners across the DNC and BFP — from the first-ever digital partnerships team at BFP to our coalitions and political teams to state parties and the coordinated campaign — to recruit advocates to join our program. Even @JoeBiden recruited folks to join Greenfly!
And perhaps most importantly, we focused on building a diverse ambassadors community, providing them content they want to share. At the end of the campaign, more than 80% of Greenfly users engaged in-app with our content.
Identifying Influencers 🤳
From the global pandemic to a worldwide racial justice movement, 2020 is the year of influencers speaking out on their platforms. Or as Buzzfeed said: the era of influencers being apolitical online is over.
Influencers have real, authentic relationships with their followers, and they regularly move them to take action. So we identified influencers in key battleground states who built a strong community — whether they had 2,000 or 200,000 followers — to partner with the DNC on voter education. 44% (!!) of the influencers we reached out to agreed to partner with us, and 90% posted more than once.
At least once per week, we sent influencers graphics, up-to-date message guidance, and calls-to-action. Whether it was a state-specific graphic, an Instagram Story slide, or a Spanish language graphic, we encouraged influencers to share what was authentic to their voice and platform.
Investing in Content ✨
The third, and potentially most important, part of our program was to meet key moments with authentic and digestible content. We did this in a few ways:
🎨 We worked hand-in-hand with the DNC design team to create a second brand of engaging and shareable graphics, specifically designed for influencers and digital ambassadors.
📍 We segmented our Greenfly and influencer audiences by state (namely key battleground states), and also offered the opportunity for users to opt-in to Spanish-language content.
⏰ We distributed content for timely rapid response moments, whether it was the presidential debates or state-specific updates during GOTV.
We designed all voter education graphics so they are (1) easily consumable and (2) eye-catching and engaging — knowing this would help the graphics reach exponentially more people by followers sharing the influencer’s Instagram in-feed post on their own Instagram Story.
From Demi Lovato (93.3M million followers) to Sarah Caroline Crawford in Georgia (2.2k followers) to Chrissy Rutherford in New York (147k followers) to TikTok creator Amelie Zilber (1.7M followers), these influencers shared content to help their followers vote — whether it was National Voter Registration Day graphics in September to “Stay in Line” graphics on Election Day.
Our distributed content program proved to be incredibly effective for key rapid response moments — especially during GOTV. With the ban on political paid ads from Facebook and Google, we relied on Greenfly to spread critical updates through organic content, whether it was encouraging folks in Maricopa County in Arizona to stay in line or letting folks in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District know that their polling place extended early vote hours.
We’re back to plugging all of the great folks across the BFP digital and DNC mobilization teams looking for their next job. Check them out!
🧵Thread we think you should read (and retweet) 🧵
By investing in new tools and creative content, we were able to effectively mobilize thousands of influencers and grassroots supporters to share content on social media, who in turn mobilized their followers to the polls.
Thanks for reading! And feel free to shoot me a DM at @hannah_flom with any thoughts or ideas on ways we can continue investing in organic content.