The Social Voting Experience: Tapping into Online Communities to Drive Elections

By posted Dec 12, 2012 11:58 AM

The growth of social web has blurred the line between “website” and “social community.” In fact, it has become so blurred that a recent study showed social network users prefer to connect with their favorite brands through Facebook rather than visit the brand’s main website.

With this strategic shift underway, why are organizations still managing and promoting their elections like it is 2007?

Organizations are developing social communities to connect members and foster collaboration. From Facebook and LinkedIn to private online communities such as Higher Logic, these communities are rich opportunities for engagement, collaboration… and driving successful elections.

Here are some ways to tap into your online communities to power up your online voting and elections:

Think Social Promotion & Engagement

Use your online community as a hub to recruit candidates, facilitate discussion about your elections and promote voting. Online communities are also a platform for candidates to discuss issues and members to get to know the candidates. In fact, President Obama executed this brilliantly during his campaign with his Ask Me Anything (AMA) chat on Reddit.

Adopt an Advertiser’s Mindset

Links within your community to your elections are the low-hanging fruit.  With members spending more time in these collaboration spaces, think also about impressions and conversion as ways to promote your election, for example, targeted display ads, context based text ads, and social badge,s such as the Digital Ribbons in the Higher Logic platform, as recognition for voting. Basically, use opportunity to place an ad promoting your election.

Create a Frictionless Experience

Think through your election process and remove any barriers to voting. For example, a Single Sign-On that integrates all your online tools makes it easy for members to login and vote because they don't have to memorize yet another username and password. Also look at integrating logins with Facebook or LinkedIn credentials to make it even easier for users to login to your online platforms and vote.

Know Your Influencers and Voters

It is a no-brainer to monitor who has and hasn’t voted in your elections. The advent of Social CRM goes beyond membership drives and “online influence” to tell you which members should get personal reminders to vote and share the need for voting. These are the members who wield influence and can drive voter participation. Tap into them and power-up your elections.

Social communities drive engagement around your organization’s mission, business and content. Isn’t it time to tap into that engagement to drive turnout for your online voting?