Social Media Marketing In An Election Year: 6 Things To Plan For

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Strategy | 0 comments

Photo by Element5 Digital

As the primaries tick by and we edge closer to the 2024 general election, social media marketers are bracing for an unprecedented year. 

The use of AI, heightened emotions, and evolving platform landscapes, will test our abilities to evolve and keep our brands relevant and top of mind in a positive way. 

Here are 6 things to keep in mind when planning organic and paid content for your brand in 2024:


1. Expect higher ad prices and less space

Any election cycle brings in increased local and national advertising, but social media buys are where smaller elections get the greatest lift. In fact, digital ad spends are anticipated to be up 156% from 2020. The loss of cookie tracking means that some advertising spends will pivot away from traditional banner ads to other formats, including streaming and podcasts.

Plan now for your brand to be in the local market in weeks where political ad spends aren’t as active and it’s easier for you to have a visible brand. Or consider pivoting your ad spend to platforms such as TikTok that don’t allow for political advertising. But realize that other brands are facing the same considerations, likely forcing higher ad prices overall.

2. Watch your (and your customers’) language

Any election year is politically charged, and 2024 is no exception. Political discourse on social media has the potential to significantly impact your customer’s language and attitudes on brands, messaging, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

It’s critical to be actively listening to your audiences for any shifts in language and platform usage, and be able to pivot to adjust messaging to meet your audiences where they are. 

3. Be a news junkie

Staying abreast of the major headlines can help you address current events or breaking news with sensitivity, including developing relevant organic content or, when necessary, pausing ad spends and going dark.

4. Manage content fatigue

The constant stream of content doesn’t just impact social media managers; it can wear on your audiences as well. And when other messages – like many political ads – can feel negative and overwhelming, consider pivoting your content to offer shelter from the political storm. Whether it’s light-hearted videos or stories of employees making a difference, the break from political content can be welcome.

5. Be aware of AI impacts

Generative AI has the potential to save time and create headaches for social media managers. AI content, from bots to fake videos to misinformation, even if not directed directly at your brand, can result in messaging confusion or internal and external crises for your brand.

6. Know where your brand stands politically

Your brand’s decision to step into political discourse of any kind should be deliberate and strategic, and reflect the values of your organization.

Your social media team should be aware of whether your brand has a position on candidates, societal issues or bills. They should also be made aware if statements will be made, whether in a release, a public presentation or memo, and be armed with a statement to address any comments. Make sure any comments reflect your brand voice, tone and values.

Even if your brand is not engaging in political activism or chooses to not speak on the subject, understand that it can still alienate some segments of your audience by that decision as well. Additionally, being aware of any influencer partnerships or employee comments on social media can have a “halo effect” of reflecting on your brand. Be prepared to spend additional time on consumer response this year.

Ultimately, social media is about social dialogue. In a potentially heated election season, it’s all the more important to have a flexible but thoughtful organic and paid strategy.

Author: Robbie Schneider, SMS

Robbie Schneider, SMS, is a healthcare content marketing leader and social media strategist. She has more than 20 years’ experience using traditional and emerging media platforms to connect and engage consumer audiences in the healthcare space. Robbie leads the social media and blog content strategy for Franciscan Health and serves as a board chair with Health.

Robbie is passionate about people and their stories, and that includes their mental health. She was named a 2022 finalist for the UK-based Digital Women Carer of the Year Award, an international award recognizing women working in the digital space who also serve as caregivers. Robbie, who has written a book on managing stress while caregiving, continues her education in the mental health space, completing trainings in suicide prevention, mental health first aid and the Mental Health Ally program through Psych Hub.

Connect with Robbie on LinkedIn.


Submit a Comment