As I was skimming through social media this week, one common theme popped up on my social channels and the messages were all the same; Register to vote. Each channel of media pushed it in their own way. At first, I did not notice it, but once I was looking the messages were everywhere. I decided to click on as many endorsements to vote to see where the links clicked through to.
Google was the first platform I noticed the message loud and clear. I have Google search page as my homepage on Chrome. I could switch it, but I enjoy looking at the new illustrations each day. Google actually refers to them as “doodles” and embedded is a link to an entire page dedicated to Google Doodles that often come with games, correlate with important dates, and offers an overall high entertainment value. Warning: this website is a dark hole of distractions and hours may be wasted on it. Anyways, about two days ago, I opened my browser (probably to watch The Office) and this is the doodle that I was greeted by:
The top of the banner flashes “Register to Vote” in different languages. You can see the Register to Vote doodle still on Google’s pages with directions on how to register yourself. This tool sends you to another Google page seen below, where using your location they instruct you on what system your state uses.
After enjoying my time clicking through Google, I turned to other social platforms to see how their user journey unfolded.
Facebook was a little bit harder to figure out than Google because those fun videos that pop up when you open your Newsfeed first thing in the morning go away when you sign in again. However, I searched
mirroring Google’s message which led me to http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/
Instagram was even easier because it simply popped up as a sponsored ad. That means, Instagram is using data and sacrificing ad dollars (assumed) for this voting campaign. The clickthrough journey for Instagram was a new adventure for me because I have never clicked on a sponsored ad before. This was the initial message and where the hyperlink takes the user when the click on “learn more.”
Youtube was something I actually initially forgot about as a major social channel, but I was on it today watching SNL skits and noticed a #VOTE IRL next to the Youtube logo and click on that as well. It brought me to this page
Using a mix of statistics and videos, Youtube also pushes the voting message by encouraging people to make videos that last 1:34 because that is how long it takes to register.
On celebrities pages, Snapchat encourages you to vote by sliding up and it leads you to register.turbovote.org This was the most surprising platform that encouraged voting due to the style of the channel. Yet, Snapchat continues to impress me with the way they have incorporated social campaigns like this along with ads while maintaining the way people appreciate and use the app.
There are many other social channels and messages encouraging registration that I could not do them all…. but feel free to personally check out Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, and many more!
I purposely did not look for articles or information about this campaign and general push to register to vote before writing my blog so that my perceptive would be strictly as a user of social platforms. I wanted to immerse myself into the user journey before looking into the pattern more deeply.
After some Research…
I discovered that over 4,000 organizations have banded together in order to get people voting. They have used the power of the social network to push the message and make it as easy as possible for people to register.
Before I went beyond Google, I could not help but think that there was some underlying message behind these messages. I have still not fully decided if encouraging people to register and educate themselves about the election is a push towards Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. However, none of the sites encourages one way or another explicitly and even the color scheme was fairly patriotic. Also, knowing how a large corporation functions, it would be incredibly risky to push one candidate or another. Even if a majority believe one way or another, you could deter current and future stakeholders. Upsetting employees, customers, investors, and the general public would not be worth choosing a side. I think this campaign is the smartest thing that these 4,000+ companies decided to do. After all, just voting will make an impact one way or another and the encouragement for people to do their civic duty by being registered is good for society. This is a true example of Corporate Social Responsibility because encouraging the best use of our democratic nation and freedom of expression and to vote will inherently help the masses. Everyone will benefit from voting.
I personally have never been interested or passionate about politics and this will be the first presidential election that I will have the privilege of participating in. Sometimes I question if my vote means anything at all, but what’s the harm in casting it? As Americans, we are privileged to have these rights – so register yourself and VOTE!