Can Bloggers Influence the General Election?

Andrew Brookes 3 years ago

In the last few years, there’s been much talk in marketing circles about the power of ‘social influencers’. Bloggers and vloggers are the ‘new media’ celebrities and are in-demand for brands who want a sprinkling of their digital stardust to rub off on their products and services.

But, beyond tales of their lifestyle and collaborations with brands, could these bloggers actually wield their influence when it comes to the General Election?

That might sound like a strange proposition but there is, in fact, a growing desire on social media for them to play an important role.

After Theresa May announced her plans for a snap election this week, blogger Laura Jane Williams began using the #BloggersWhoVote hashtag. The aim is to get influential bloggers and vloggers to encourage their followers to register now so they can vote on June 8.

This is especially significant give the historically low election turnout among young people. Indeed, as Amelia Tait noted for the I, the group least likely to vote is young women aged 18-24 – which just so happens to be one of the biggest target audiences for prominent individuals such as Zoella.

Indeed, Williams ‘went to the top’ and asked Zoella herself for support with the campaign on Twitter. The fact that she took up the request and sent a tweet will do much to help the cause. After all, brands would pay thousands for such exposure from an influencer such as Zoella (the tool Webfluential reckons each of her tweets is worth upwards of £25,000).

The tweet was liked more than 6,000 times and retweeted hundreds of times. If Zoella can help break sales records for Superdrug then who’s to say her help won’t prompt a rush to sign up and vote?

Bloggers and vloggers have highly engaged social media audiences and are able to talk to people not reached through traditional channels. Importantly, this push is focusing on the need to register to vote and isn’t choosing to lecture people on how to cast their ballot.

While we should all hope that the drive works, there are also important lessons for those of us in marketing.

Firstly, it further shows the shifting of power and the role now played by prominent influencers. Established, famous faces in this world are big names with a highly engaged following and they have the ability to turn their hand to promoting a person, product or cause. They’re also able to reach an audience that isn’t necessarily catered for in other ways.

Secondly, we’ve also reached a stage in which there is a high level of expectation surrounding social influencers. The power they have comes with a sense of responsibility – and there is a desire to see them use this responsibility in a positive way.

Finally, this should also show the value to be had in positioning your brand behind a worthy cause, especially one that chimes with your audience. People like to ally themselves with brands which ‘do something good’ and are more likely to have a deeper affinity with those that do so. Backing the right campaign can do your reputation the power of good, showing that you’re not ‘just’ shouting a sales message. You’d like to think that blogger and vloggers who join this campaign will earn a wider kudos for doing so.

Oh, and if you haven’t clicked on Zoella’s link yet, you can register to vote here.

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