5 Tips for Social Media Advertising During the Election Season

Its only September and I’m sure you’re already sick of the political madness that has taken over your social feeds. Once we’ve elected the next President on November 8th, I imagine people will have a thing or two to say about that, as well. When it comes to advertising on Facebook, Twitter and the other social platforms during this crazy time, we have a few suggestions on how to make sure your content is front and center.

1. Tread carefully during election windows

If possible, avoid running major campaigns during the election season, specifically early September through one week after the general presidential election. Politicians and brands involved in the election will be buying up as much social inventory as possible, especially in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado. The politicos are focusing on swaying voters in these states, so expect lower inventory and higher rates.


2. Think through your bidding strategy

Presidential election = big money. According to Borrell Associates, politicians will be allocating over 9 percent of media budget towards digital and social media — this comes to an estimated $1 billion. In order to make sure your content is served, you should plan for higher budgets, more competitive bids and higher frequency. You want your ad to break through the clutter. Keep in mind, the average person must see a message 5 to 7 times before they retain the information in an ad.  If you can, A/B test your creative with a smaller audience and budget before committing to a big push. This will allow you to send your most effective content out into the social sphere.

3. Be specific when creating your audience

If you decide to run a campaign during election season, stay away from broad, vague targeting. For example, if you are running an advertisement for office supplies, market to office admins and receptionists who are likely to purchase the products rather than anyone in the working population. Many of the social ad platforms serve ads through an auction based system. According to Facebook, “An auction takes place whenever someone is eligible to see an ad. The “participants” in an auction are ads targeted to an audience the eligible person falls into.” If your ad is of high quality and relevant to your audience, it is more likely that your ad will be seen by your target audience at a lower cost per action.

4. Stay true to your customer base

This is the perfect time to focus on growing affinity for your brand rather than building awareness amongst a new audience. If you haven’t already done so, we recommend creating a custom audience on each social platform from your CRM database. You can match email addresses and/or phone numbers to create custom audiences. Use this time to speak directly to those who have already expressed an interest in your brand and deepen those connections. The social advertising platforms are more likely to serve your ads to those who are likely to engage with them in the first place.

5. Apply these practices to Q4 in general

Think things will slow down after the President is elected into office? I don’t think so… Here come Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season! Traditionally, Q4 is the most expensive time of year to place ads and this year will be no exception. We recommend using the aforementioned tips throughout Q4 and sliding back to normal come first quarter. Q1 is typically the least expensive quarter for paid advertising; so hold tight to your piggy bank for a more efficient spend in January.  Happy New Year!

Ignite Social Media