Despite the growth of alternative, right-leaning social media platforms like Truth Social, Gettr or Parler, and speculation that Twitter might become more welcoming to conservative viewpoints, Facebook remains the most important social network for reaching voters.
In 2020, 60% of voters reported using the social network every day. It’s the largest gathering of voters happening in your district every single day. Advertising is central to Facebook’s business model and organic engagement should always be paired with a paid strategy.
Recent changes in Facebook’s ad policies have impacted all advertisers generally, but political marketers particularly. Here are five tactics you can use to help make up the difference.
Use More Data
In early 2022, Facebook disabled the ability to target ads based on certain characteristics, including “political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures.” This had previously been an important resource for smaller campaigns to reach the right audiences.
The good news is that Facebook still allows advertisers to target “custom audiences” of uploaded data like voter files. Republican candidates have free access to the GOP Data Center through their state parties. You can quickly and easily create files specifically for Facebook ads within the platform.
With more precise targeting, it was easy to reach potential supporters and advance them to a later stage of your conversion funnel. Put another way, you could pay more to reach the right people and get them to donate sooner.
Now, your audience is more generic so your ads need to appeal to a broader demographic. Use issues like gas prices, red light cameras, high taxes, and other topics driving mainstream political conversation. Aim for lower costs per acquisition at a lower conversion rate.
Introduce New Ads In A Separate Campaign
Facebook’s advertising platform uses artificial intelligence to find the ad variation you create that performs the “best.” Best, of course, is relative and sometimes you’ll want to take advantage of more time sensitive topics.
Instead of adding new ads to a campaign that’s already running, have a separate campaign for these new ads. Allow them to mature or “brew” in Facebook’s ad platform before moving them to your primary campaign and taking other ads offline.
Doing this helps in two ways: first, you don’t lose conversions on ads that are working during the new ads’ learning phase, and, second, your new ads will get the opportunity to generate interactions for the learning phase.
Selfie-style videos of your candidate have been shown to lower costs for Facebook advertising. If you are running static graphics or highly-produced videos, switch to these more candid videos with clear calls to action.
The overall performance of your ads will improve without having to spend any money, just a little candidate time.
Facebook Groups are the most effective channel for boosting organic reach on the platform. Every post or ad you create for your Page should be shared to a public group for your supporters.
Getting started is easy. Just create a public group associated with your page, adjust the moderation settings accordingly, then invite your own friends to join the group. You can also redirect signups from Facebook lead ads to join a group. It’s an easy way to incorporate relational organizing (friend to friend outreach) into your campaign.
Recent changes in how Facebook advertising works have had a negative impact on how political campaigns have typically used the platform. These tactics will help you adapt and continue to get the most from your paid Facebook strategy.