A Good Reason for Campaigns to Build a Facebook Following Early
We’ve been a little hard on Facebook lately, what with the pay-to-play future and today’s obsession with Engagement. So let’s switch tack and look at a reason that political and advocacy campaigns benefit from building a Facebook following early rather than later. As Bully Pulpit staff Danielle Butterfield, Madeline Twomey and Lauren Miller discussed in a RootsCamp 2013 presentation on Democratic data and advertising in last year’s Virginia governor’s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s campaign spent time and money to build his Facebook following as early as possible. Why? to have “social validation” for late-cycle persuasion and GOTV ads.
As shown in the screenshot to the right, Facebook supports ads on its site with socially validating information (“X likes this”, or “Y people like this”) to get more of us to click. While advertisers of all kinds have long known the power of “everybody’s doing it,” perhaps it works particularly well on Facebook, since the company has so much information about our social connections and knows how to use it. One particular constraint for political campaigns, though: they usually have very little time to build a following large enough for social reinforcement to matter.
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