Social Media Pressure is Real & Can Turn Out the Vote

There’s something every one of us who is on social media can do, today, to help turn out the vote. Know what it is?

It has to do with peer pressure. Now, if that conjures up memories of high school assemblies where you get lectured at, don’t worry. The peer pressure I’m talking about it for positive effect.

There’s a lot of psychological research that shows that people generally are influenced by social norms, and so we can use that knowledge to our advantage to turn out the vote. What it comes down to is, if everyone else in their circle is doing something, then people generally want to join in.

So, starting immediately, what you can do is write positive, enthusiastic social media posts about voting and/or getting ready to vote.

Have you requested your absentee ballot? Tell everyone!

Has early voting started in your state and you just cast your vote? Write a post!

Did your ballot arrive at your house? Share how excited you are!

Did you turn in your ballot at a drop box or election office? Take a photo of the moment!*

When your social media circle sees you voting, or taking steps to get ready to vote, and sees your enthusiasm around voting, it’ll make an impression. People generally want to be part of the “in crowd” and will be more inclined to take the same steps they’ve seen you and others in their circle take.

There’s specific research around the effect that posting a picture of your “I Voted!” sticker on Election Day has on people, and what we need to do is fast-track that societal pressure because of how important it is this year to vote early.

Here are the results of one study on Facebook from a few years ago:

The study found that when Facebook users were shown the “I voted” button alongside a social message that showed which of their friends had voted, they were much more likely to vote than if they were shown an informational message or no votes at all. The researchers found that this social message led to 340,000 extra real-world votes.

As for writing a good tweet, I’ve got a few pointers that’ll help get your post more attention:

  • use a picture or a gif – this gives your post a visual element that can draw attention
  • include one hashtag (maybe two, but not more than that) – some options are #ivoted #VoteByMail #VoteEarly #Election2020
  • include your state – because each state’s voting rules are so different, folks in your state will want to share that voting is underway
  • if there’s a candidate you’re excited to vote for, include their @ account
  • consider including a link, like how to vote absentee in your state – people are inclined to share information that’s helpful and factual

So, whenever you take some sort of action connected to voting, post it on social media. Invite others to tell you they’ve taken that same action, or celebrate your action with you. Your posts can help spur action in others!

*Don’t take a picture of your completed ballot, though. “Ballot selfies” are against the law in many states.

Let’s win the 2020 Election! Download my ***NEW*** free guide today: 19 Quick Ways to Turn Out the Vote in 2020. Each action takes 10 minutes or less!

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