Brand advertisers leverage social media insights in message targeting to connect with the buyers more likely to convert. We are now seeing more and more savvy politicians also tapping into social insights in the hopes of further fueling their own audience appeal. Social insights allow campaign targeting to journey beyond basic demographics and into more meaningful data: an audience’s beliefs and interests. Social data provides a look into the products, media, entertainers and activities that connect with individuals. This detailed data allows advertisers to promote their campaigns to more relevant and precision-targeted crowds, leading to increased ad effectiveness and a competitive advantage. What happens when politicians access audience insights in a similar way, carrying their message outside of a general audience and into areas where they may seek polling improvements?

During the 2016 primaries, Donald Trump’s campaign heavily utilized social media and social media audience targeting. Consistent and relatable tweets helped propel Trump to populist appeal, with the Republican contender accumulating a massive and massively devoted fan base. “Emotion” and “honesty” are adjectives used by his fans in celebration of what they view as authentic. How can a brand or politician recreate this type of devoted and appreciative following through social media outreach? The answer involves relevance in not just targeting but also in message delivery.

While his 2020 presidential run ultimately collapsed under its own weight, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg actually found success with his social media targeting campaigns, essentially laying the ground work for the future of Democratic marketing endeavors. A crash course in rapid and urgent outreach, Bloomberg’s campaign heavily leveraged social insights to target young voters, with an emphasis on maintaining relevance in his messaging. It wasn’t just about reaching young people with conventional (and potentially ineffective) messaging; it was about speaking their language. This strategy involved targeting social media influencers—meme accounts with massive youth followings. Since young people are generally regarded as being resistant to traditional ads, the messaging itself didn’t involve his usual campaign ads, but instead utilized influencer-curated memes for promotion.

With a considerable percentage of young people consistently delivered to convert by social media influencers, it’s no wonder that Bloomberg’s team targeted meme-seeking millennials in an effort to sway young voters. The idea is simple: young people are captivated by influencers, so by influencing the influencers, you’ll also influence their audience. Knowing an audience and directly appealing to their interests are tantamount in creating a messaging system so relevant that it regularly engages its audience, particularly those wary of conventional approaches. With traditional advertising generally expected to be rejected by groups of young people, a politician must maintain relevance not just in targeting but also content and delivery.

By targeting the audiences of relevant social media influencers, political campaigns are able to leverage the fandom of an already actively engaged crowd, provided their messaging also provides the same level of relevance. Social insights provide these signals to advertisers, and by utilizing these insights, brands are able to better understand their buyers, providing much greater potential for increased conversions and return on ad spend.

Affinity Answers is the best and only company that can access robust social data at scale. Our social insights, which can be activated across all channels and devices and provide political campaigns with the necessary knowledge to target any audience, including new voters and the undecided. Where most political data sets will tell you what people have done in the past, only Affinity Answers can help you see into the future. Let us prove it to you. Contact us at audiences@affinityanswers.com.

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