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March 20, 2019

With roughly two and a half years of the Trump Administration already in the books, the Democrats are officially turning their attention towards supplanting The Donald in 2020 with notable names such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris (among others) all having declared their runs in the next election.

As effectively engaging younger voters appeared to be a clear failure last time around, the Dems are searching for new ways to get on their radar. And if you want to meet young people where they are, where else to start but Instagram? With 60.4% of one billion active monthly users aged between 18 and 24 (source), there’s no better place to go.

It would appear that the Democrats are taking note, because after a quick review of the pages of some major players, it looks like they’re not only making use of their feeds to educate their constituents on their platforms, but more effectively using features like Stories and Live to show people who they really are.

Going Live in the Kitchen

You simply can’t talk about political players and social media presence without at least mentioning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As the youngest woman to ever serve in U.S. Congress, it should be no surprise that she was going to bring some much-needed millennial touch to the ‘gram.

One tactic that stood out is her tendency to have real-time conversations with users all while showing them how to cook a meal in her kitchen and sometimes even showing off some of that famous dancing. It’s the perfect combination of education on the issues and seemingly getting to know her on a personal level.

With such great reception, it would only be a matter of time until some others jumped on the trend. See…. Beto O’Rourke at the Dentist:

And Elizabeth Warren having a beer:

Cozying up with constituents

2020 presidential hopeful Cory Booker, who is at least partly adored by his supporters for his charismatic personality and contagious smile, appears aware that these are some traits that he ought to continue hammering home on a personal level via Instagram. While other politicians have saved Highlights on their feeds with titles like “Gun Control,” “Our Fight,” and “2020,” Booker has one simply titled “Selfies.”

The content within is about exactly what you’d expect: selfies and one-on-one moments shared between Booker and his constituents.

Live Event Coverage

As a candidate famous for running a campaign that both rejects large corporate donations and thrives on the enthusiasm and support of voters on the ground level, it should only make sense that the Insta Stories strategy of one Bernie Sanders would echo that sentiment. He’s a guy that started small and essentially rallied the troops all the way up to the Democratic runner up in 2016. His stories, piece by piece, tell the story of how those rallies go down so that no supporter will miss a beat.

Sharing their Story

Kamala Harris is another 2020 presidential hopeful that has jumped into Instagram Stories to do something a little different. Her Highlight titled “Bio” shows that, with a little additional post production, Instagram Stories no longer have to only be about showcasing raw, behind-the-scenes content. Her team took a nicely polished piece of content that otherwise wouldn’t fit into the confines of Stories then added some decorative framing in post and split it up into separate pieces that would allow it to still tell a cohesive story in this format.

Engaging Voters

What is the goal of all of this? It all boils down to engaging voters and actually getting people to care about you enough to just get out there and punch your ticket on election day. It’s a popularity contest!

So when it comes down to it, the official page of the Democrats (@thedemocrats) aims to not only engage voters publicly, but online as well in an effort to show others, “Hey, I’m participating in the democratic process. You should too!” With crowdsourced photos from real-life millennial voters via hashtag, Stories makes for an excellent place to show them off without flooding the main feed. It all comes full circle!

What are your favorite politicians – democrat or republican – doing to engage their voter base as election season approaches? We’d love to hear some more tactics in the comments!

About the Author

Kyle Krajewski

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