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Jocelyn Summers, Strategic Account Executive
October 26 2020

Effect of the Election on Social Media Marketing

It’s down to the final days before the election, and no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall to, we all are anxious for a conclusion. The election seems to be everywhere you turn, and unsurprisingly, that includes social media.

Elections provide their own set of challenges for marketers, even if your brand has nothing to do with the election. Here are three key takeaways for social media that we’ve identified that are particularly important during election season.

Increase in Political Noise

From billboards, to TV ads, to social media, it’s hard to avoid the election. Candidates both cause and experience a huge increase in digital activity as the big day gets closer.  While your brand may have nothing to do with such content, it is still taking up space that could otherwise be filled with your brand. Some of this content is candidate promotion, news stories, or simply conversations about the candidates. Social platform algorithms will favor this content, not just because people want political content, but because it’s the hot topic that everyone is talking about.

Decrease in Organic Performance

Along with this increase in political content comes a corresponding decrease in your brand’s social media performance. Not only are you competing with huge volumes of political content, but other brands are increasing their advertising budgets to rise above the noise. It’s going to be tough to compete in this crowded arena, but polls from the Pew Research Center suggest that 46% of social media users were already feeling exhausted by political posts on social media. And that was a year ago! If users are taking breaks from social media, whether for days, weeks, or months at a time, you can expect to see a dip in organic metrics (reach, engagement and followers).

Increase in Ad Cost

It’s the simple law of supply and demand; as demand for political ad space increases, the cost of those ad placements will increase. Combine this with some users taking a break from social media, and you are going to get much less for your ad dollars.

Home Stretch

The good news for all of us is that the end of the latest political season is coming to a close. In the meantime, you are going to want to level-set your expectations for social performance for the next couple of weeks. And take heart, once this is over, there will be an increased appetite for new and different content. That’s when your brand can make a statement. To learn more about improving your social media and metrics, connect with one of our experts.

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