The first votes in the 2016 Presidential race are less than 3 weeks away. The Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire & South Carolina Primaries in February mean an explosion of political messages in an already-crowded media space. It’s estimated that approximately $500 Million may be spent on Facebook ads for the 2016 Presidential Election.
Franchisors, franchisees, and all business owners need to figure out their Facebook plans now.
Even before this massive spend leading up to each state’s primary, the organic updates from candidates, increased posts from political bloggers, and campaign stories from news outlets are already consuming most of the attention on Facebook.
Ted Cruz is broadcasting using the new Facebook Live streaming video every day. Ben Carson’s campaign took off entirely from Facebook fans spreading his messages. Donald Trump posts pictures and remarks from the campaign trail several times per day. The campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders manage multiple pages for their organizations in each state showing a strong local community focus and ground game.
Imagine how much more crowded the space will be in 30, 60, or 90 days. And that will pale in comparison to later this year when the two eventual nominees, their parties, and their PACs throw hundreds of millions into Facebook ads for the general election. Imagine the competition for consumers’ attention!
Organic reach using your current tactics will be zero. How can your message get to your potential customers and candidates? Here are a few ideas to try to rise above the noise.
1. Post when others are not posting. Get a calendar of upcoming primary events and avoid the days before, during, and after a primary in any state or a debate. Instead pick other days of that same week to post. This may mean moving out of your comfort zone of days / times for posting. But that’s a good thing; I’ve never been a fan of so-called “best times” to post. Your customers are active on social 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
2. Plan on buying more ads and increase your ad budget. There’s no way around this!
3. Be prepared with a non-Facebook Plan B. If Trump and Clinton (or whoever the 2 nominees are!), as well as the DNC, the RNC, and the PACs all start dumping a half Billion dollars into Facebook, you may have to explore alternative channels. If your business is not already set up on Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat and other places, do so now and run some tests. Get ready to move into that space if you find engagement.