2020 Election Impact on Your Social Media

3 Reasons Your Social Media Strategy Will Be Impacted by the 2020 Election

The debates, the commercials, the controversies – as much as we have endured during this 2020 presidential election cycle, the end is near. Citizens across the country have begun casting their votes.

As we prepare for the final few weeks of this presidential race, marketers must consider how the election can impact their businesses and strategies.

What should you be prepared for? How can you overcome possible roadblocks? The team at Speak wants to offer its advice on what is to come and how you can best position your social media strategy amid the closing frame of the 2020 Election.

Your Social Ads May Not Get Approved

Facebook has become more stringent in its advertising opportunities as it relates to the 2020 presidential election. In September, the company stated that no new political ads would be approved beginning one week before Election Day.

As of October 27, no account can launch new advertising that Facebook categorizes as a social issue ad, political ad or election ad.

You may be thinking, “Interesting news, but it will not impact my advertising since I do not run any political advertising.”

Think again.

If you know Facebook, you know that the automated advertising approval process can be cumbersome, deliberate, and relatively confusing.

Specifically, Facebook casts a wide net on Ads About Social Issues, Elections, or Politics. If you build an ad on the social platform and have one thought that your ad may be “political,” chances are high that Facebook will automatically reject the ad. Facebook is trying to protect itself, which means it is operating overly cautious during this tumultuous time.

Consider these hypothetical examples:

  • An attraction situated on the property of a past president is hosting a new tour to highlight the racial dynamics at play on the property in the 1800s.
  • The local professional basketball team has two players having superb seasons and wants to capitalize on the election year by advertising a “Toppin/Crutcher 2020” shirt because they know it will sell.
  • A local nonprofit has been activating for climate change efforts in the community and wants to generate donations for their newest clean air project through ad targeting.

In all three instances, Facebook would automatically deem these “political” ads, falling into the category of Ads About Social Issues, Elections, or Politics.

Normally, you can manually appeal these rejected ads to Facebook, and they may get approved in two to three days. But, if you try that in the week before the Election, you are likely out of luck.

Your Social Ads May Not Run for Awhile

Facebook more recently announced that it is banning all political-based and issues-based advertising after the polls close and will last an undetermined length of time.

This can have lingering impacts on your business and your return on investment. If your social ads do not run for the first 10-15 days of the month, how will that affect your metrics, sales, or donations?

Because Facebook uses a broad definition to categorize ads associated with politics and issues, you may not know your ad is in this category until it is too late.

Your Election Coverage May Not Perform Well – Thanks to the Social Giants 

Have you noticed that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter actively encouraged voter registration? Now, that has transitioned to voter participation. If you log onto the platforms, you cannot miss it.


But that’s not all they are doing to encourage action.

On any post that is associated with voting, Facebook and Instagram are pushing their voter platforms.

From personal accounts to brand accounts, the evident call-to-action directly pushes you to their information center.

For your brand, this bold push by the platforms will inhibit the success of any internal election plans you have. If you are planning to push your audience to a bright, election-themed design on Election Day, those Facebook and Instagram CTAs will be massive distractions.

If you were going to take time off to vote and post to social, you still can. We encourage you to share! Just be aware that those CTAs will be there, ready for you – and can draw clicks or engagement away from your account.

Your Organic Social Strategy May Take a Dip

Consider the amount of content publishing to each social platform every minute of every day – before the Election.

This election is bound to generate an unbelievably high amount of social content across all platforms in the next few weeks.

There’s only so much content the platforms can show when so much is being created.

Understand that, prepare for that, and know that numbers make take a dive momentarily. Strategize your efforts to maximise your performance with these considerations in mind. 

What You Should Do 

As we prepare to serve clients in a variety of industries, some of which could be impacted by the decisions of the social giants, we are following this checklist:

  • Create all advertising campaigns for November 2020 well before October 27, 2020, to allow for ample approval time
  • Ensure all start dates and end dates are correct because you may not be able to adjust ads in the days following Election Day
  • Consider your verbiage on ad copy that may toe the line – can you avoid specific terms that raise the red flag?
  • Strategize for your November social calendar now, knowing that Election coverage and reaction will take up a large portion of social media real estate during the first week of November

Ahead of what promises to be a busy few weeks on digital, plan ahead and be proactive with your strategic social strategies.

Need help with your pre-election content calendar?

We've got strategies and ideas up our sleeve for getting you the most engagement during a packed election season. If you're feeling overwhelemd with these new rules or don't want to play the back-and-forth game with your social media platforms, we would love to hear from you.


Posted by Cody Gross at 09:13