How Social Media Got Out the Vote

There was a lot of coverage about how the candidates used — or didn’t use — social media to garner supporters. But what about how social media sites galvanized their members to go out and vote? From imeem to Facebook, here are a few examples.

You’re probably used to the site that dresses up its logo for a holiday, and Election Day, quite frankly, often receives that very same treatment. A visit to Google, Yahoo!, or AOL’s home pages today are testaments of that fact. AOL’s is even animated. But more interesting than that logo wearing makeup, or even the 24-hour news and blogging coverage on media sites, is how social media uses, well, social media, to get out the vote. For example, expert blogger Allyson Kapin reported on the Twitter Voter Report, enabling voters to share their experiences via text message, Twitter tweet, calling in, or using an application built for use on the iPhone or Android phone.


Here are a few more examples:


imeem – The social media sharing site, with a focus on music, created the Obama vs. McCain Presidential Playlist Showdown. Members can join The Presidential Playlist Group and vote on which candidate has the better playlist. Wonder how close the votes will come to the actual polling results.


MySpace – The online community site introduced MySpace Impact, an election home of sorts with entry to live election night blogging, NBC’s Decision ’08 videos and voter info, and “I Voted” badge to add to your profile, and celebrity videos and blogs about voting. As an extra bonus, there’s also an election playlist, put together by The Roots drummer DJ Questlove.



YouTube – The largest online destination for watching and sharing video launched YouTube Video Your Vote, enabling site members to send in a video of their voting experiences. The top rated, in terms of views and discussions surface to the top where even non-members can watch.


Facebook – The social media and networking site greeted its visitors with a reminder to vote today. Upon logging in and visiting your home page, members were welcomed with a “Today is Election Day in America” banner and invited to add themselves to the tally of people who have voted today. The Facebook Election 2008 page offers voter info and Obama or McCain buttons to send to your friends as gifts. Also, by using the Causes application, Facebook members were encouraged to donate their status updates to get out the vote.


BlackPlanet – The leading online niche social-networking site welcomes visitors with a “Vote for Obama” banner that upon clicking redirects to, where they can find out where to vote.

What other instances of social media getting out the vote out can you cite?


About the author

Lynne d Johnson is a Content + Community Consultant developing content and community strategies that help brands better tell their stories and build better relationships with people toward driving brand awareness, loyalty, and purchase intent. She has been writing about tech and media since the Web 1.0 days, most recently about how the future of consumer interactions will be driven by augmented reality and wearable tech.