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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Should Dems Use More Social Media Ads?

With all of the bad rap Facebook and Twitter have received in recent months, should Dems use more social media to amplify their messaging? In that regard, Dems should read “Trump Knows Digital Ads Work. Why Don’t Democrats?: The party’s campaigns are ignoring obvious opportunities to engage with voters” a NYT op-ed by Kendall Collins, board member of Tech for Campaigns, which has 7,500 volunteers and played a key role in the 2017 Democratic victories in the Virginia election. Collins writes,

“President Trump may not be up for re-election until 2020, but since May 31, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee — his re-election campaign — has spent $629,500 on advertising on Google platforms alone, making it the top spender on political ads on Google platforms. That’s nearly $200,000 more than the No. 2 spender, One Nation, a right-wing organization focused on influencing Senate elections…The average nonpresidential Democratic campaign spends only 10 percent to 15 percent of its budget on digital channels while pouring 60 percent to 70 percent of its budget into television ads and direct mail. That is shocking, especially because people now spend an average of 5.9 hours online every single day, with 3.3 of those hours on mobile devices…Democrats should take a cue and double down on digital: It empowers them to reach more people with less money, engage in back-and-forth conversations with voters and test what messaging is resonating in real time. It should also prove critical in turning out a younger voting population, which often sits out midterm elections.”

Bottom line is that the influence of social media isn’t fading away, despite its many problems. For Dems, not using it more effectively would be political malpractice.

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