As Election Day looms, social media sites urge users to vote

Newspaper editorial boards endorse political candidates. Social media execs push voters to exercise their rights. Here’s how some top tech companies are aiming to boost poll numbers

Some of the biggest names in social media are getting creative for Election Day 2016.

To herald tomorrow’s voting Nov. 8 deadline, brand managers at Facebook, Periscope (Twitter’s video platform) and Snapchat are offering tools to encourage election-related conversation and action.

Here’s what some crafty execs have drummed up to make sure people get out and vote:

Facebook transforms into election information hub

Have you noticed a variety of election-themed banners floating atop your timeline these past few weeks?

Facebook’s brand managers have hard-coded prompts including “Do you know where to vote?” and “Have you registered to vote?” to “make sure [users] are ready to go on Election Day.”

TechCrunch reports:

Facebook has been working to get users registered to vote and informed about their ballot throughout this election season.

Its voter registration push helped more than 2 million people become registered voters, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg . And, more recently, it launched a full voter guide that helps users learn about the candidates, their positions, and even down-ballot propositions and local politicians. With Election Day 2016, the subsite is getting prominent billing. It’s pinned near the top of your Favorites section on both web and mobile.

The Election Day hub gives users options for how to engage. Hashtags, live video, aggregated news coverage and trending candidate information are all included.

Here’s are additional details:

The hub features two sections focused on offering aggregated streams of election news. The video tab, for instance, directs you to the top and most recent Facebook Live videos related to the election. The Discussion tab is merely a stream of all the content hashtagged with election terms, including #election2016, #election, #vote, #USelection, etc. Facebook will also send out Election Day reminders – something it has done since 2008.

Snapchat stays on brand with Election Day filters

Snapchat lenses have become a popular way for brands manages to promote their products and increase their social media presence.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is doing something similar.

From Advertising Age:

Snapchat users on Monday will be offered a lens that morphs them into Clinton lookalikes, part of an ad buy from pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA. There are three types of ads that candidates can buy: typical 10-second video ads, filters that people lay on top of selfies, and lenses, which are animated filters. The Clinton campaign is buying a filter with the message “I’m with her.”

And a lookalike selfie filter:

The Trump campaign will release a filter of its own on Tuesday, Ad Age reports.

Periscope adds filters of its own

Twitter-owned Periscope isn’t conceding to Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat just yet.

For Election Day, brand managers aim to provide an “entertaining way to have conversations and raise awareness around the election and the importance of voting,” a Medium post from Team Periscope states.

As the popularity of filters and selfie lenses increases, Periscope execs want a piece of that pie.

Here’s more from the post:

We wanted to give you something fun in the time leading up to Election Day in the U.S. For the next week, you can broadcast with a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump mask when you go live in selfie mode. These are available on iOS only.

Live video continues to be an important way for anyone, including our elected representatives, to share their point of view on important issues and invite everyone to be a part of the conversation. These Election Day masks are a lighthearted example of the types of tools our team is working on to help you create compelling live video.

Here’s how the digital political masks look, via TechCrunch:

Periscope’s addition of selfie lens technology is coming at the right time and could gain the platform a wider following.

Here’s how, from Josh Constine:

Periscope won’t be left out. Branching out into more playful territory could attract a mainstream audience. If Periscope adds more masks, or launches filters and other effects, it could get people to stream even if they’re having a bad hair day or look a little haggard.

Ragan readers, how do you think these social media companies are faring with getting out the word about Election Day?

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