Data shows brands are pushing to get out the vote in record numbers
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, brands have been buzzing on social media with get-out-the-vote content that has generated hundreds of thousands of engagements, statistics unmatched in any previous U.S. election, social analytics firm Talkwalker reports.
According to the data, more than 700,000 unique engagements have popped up on social media over the past four weeks, with brands from Minecraft to Absolut to the NBA having generated, or been mentioned in, election-related posts ahead of Nov. 3. Talkwalker found that daily engagements peaked last Friday (Oct. 30) at 5,600.
The sentiment of the political engagements has been mixed overall, the company’s data found, split on average with 19% being positive and 25% negative. However, as Election Day nears, Talkwalker observed a major upswing in feeling, with 61% of engagements recorded on Twitter the weekend before the election being classified as net positive.
It also shows men are posting about voting and brands more than women on social, roughly 55% to 45%.
“Brands are approaching this important day for a variety of reasons, and with varying degrees of specificity about what they'd like their audiences to do. But for all of them, sitting on the sidelines or even simply encouraging the vote because it’s ‘important’ or a ‘duty’ is no longer sufficient,” says Todd Grossman, Talkwalker’s CEO Americas.
Brands should know the different approaches their peers have taken this election cycle. Some, including Nike and the NBA, are “encouraging voting as part of aligning the brand image with consumer expectation,” Grossman says, while others like Patagonia have directly told consumers in certain states and districts who to vote for, such as backing Senate candidate Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, for example.
While the highly anticipated presidential race has weighed heavily on marketers’ minds this year, Grossman notes two of the top three brands driving election-related social engagements in the past month have had their eyes on another contest entirely.
Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber, whose engagements rank first and third place, respectively, have been angling to drum up statewide support in California for Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that could have major ramifications for apps that rely on third-party civilian product fulfillment.
Prop 22 arose as the result of a 2018 California Supreme Court decision to reclassify app-based workers, once considered in the state to be independent contractors, as employees eligible to receive benefits. If passed, it would create a separate in-between category for those workers in which they’re paid an hourly wage and receive stipends to buy health insurance. Major ride-hailing and food delivery apps back the initiative, while opponents have derided it as a half measure that ultimately fails gig economy workers.
DoorDash and Postmates, food delivery apps with a stake in the outcome of Prop 22, also appear in the top 10 brands in Talkwalker’s social engagement analysis. From social media, companies have raised millions of dollars—mainly in the “Yes on 22” camp—with both sides of the proposition seeing major ad spending in October to influence the neck-and-neck race.