What would a Facebook election look like?

Digital election advertising: Successful votes in the super election year

The super election year 2021 has started! Depending on the federal state, citizens are called upon to cast their votes several times. In addition to the federal election, there are six state elections and the election for the Berlin House of Representatives. In our guide on the topic of digital election advertising in the super election year, we show you which advertising materials and measures your party can use to reach voters.

What options do parties have to reach people?

The fight for the votes of the voters takes place in principle in several different arenas. In addition to the classic and proven election campaign on the streets and in the pedestrian zones, the election campaign has increasingly shifted to social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in recent years.

The times in which only classic print media such as posters or billboards dominated the streets are long gone. Media usage has changed completely due to the Internet and mobile devices. According to the ARD / ZDF online study 2018 over 90% of Germans are now online. Election advertising in digital media has enormous potential that should not be underestimated.

Which advertising materials and measures can parties use for the election campaign?

When choosing the right campaign media, the parties are literally spoiled for choice: There are numerous possibilities and advertising media to influence public perception and the mood of the party.

Electoral advertising options:

  • Hang placards and posters
  • Hand out flyers and leaflets
  • Use of flags, roll-up displays or beach flags
  • Rent classic billboards or advertising pillars and have them covered
  • Digital outdoor advertising on screens (digital signage)
  • Own booth for promotional campaigns during election campaigns
  • Distribution of giveaways / giveaways (sweets, snacks, fruit gums, pens, notebooks, sticky notes, postcards)
  • Production of radio, TV and cinema advertisements
  • Placement of classic advertisements in trade magazines, newspapers and other print media
  • Online advertising in social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or on selected websites (banners)
  • Establishing and maintaining a community in social networks (Facebook page, Instagram profile)
  • Operation of its own (election campaign) website

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Online election campaign on social networks

Posters and flyers are part of every election campaign. But the online election campaign on the digital battlefield is also a not to be underestimated piece of the puzzle in a successful election campaign for the upcoming elections. Social media like Facebook or Instagram have become the main source of information for many people. Therefore, they are predestined to be able to address a large number of people in a targeted manner.

Many parties and politicians already use this channel very actively and share the latest information with their fans and followers. However, the range is very limited and any content from a party is only visible in the news feed on Facebook to people who have already interacted with the party, for example who have subscribed to it. In order to reach as many citizens as possible, you should therefore rely on paid advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. Election advertising on Facebook and Instagram is particularly inexpensive.

Advantage: very specific definition of the target group possible

As a party, you can cleverly present your campaign message to a defined and carefully selected target group through targeted campaign definition. For example, age, gender, place of residence or interests can be precisely determined in order to successfully win voters. It is also possible to follow the progress of the campaign live at any time. You can see exactly how many people saw and interacted with your ad.

Advantage: Vandalism in the election campaign is reduced

During the election campaign, all parties repeatedly complained about damaged and stolen election posters. The forms of damage are different: posters are completely torn off, pasted on or smeared beyond recognition. With online advertisements, this problem is off the table.

Advantage: Individual and multimedia advertisements (image / video)

Authenticity is particularly important. While posters send purely static messages, moving images in the form of election videos offer completely new possibilities for election advertising.

In times of fake news, however, there are a few things that should be considered before running a political campaign on Facebook.

What do parties have to consider when advertising on Facebook?

The US company is preparing for the upcoming European elections and is declaring war on fake news after various scandals in the past. The social network wants to control political content more closely. According to a statement by Richard Allan (VP Global Policy Solutions), Facebook wants to protect the “integrity of the elections” by introducing “new tools” and generally increase the transparency of political advertising. Background: During the US presidential election campaign in 2016, the company was accused of having done too little to prevent the spread of fake news and propaganda from Russia.

In order to place advertisements with political content in the social network, the identity and the location must be explicitly confirmed from now on. In order to prevent influence from foreign countries (foreign financing) as far as possible, it must be specified in advance who is paying for the advertisements. Interference should be ruled out as far as possible.

Especially when an advertisement is to be placed online very quickly, there can be delays due to the identity check. If you book your online advertising via FLYERALARM Digital, your advertisements can be made available to a large audience immediately on Facebook and Instagram. We have the necessary authorization and can place your campaign directly online without re-verification.

Measures against election manipulation -
Political ads will be flagged from now on

All political campaigns on Facebook and Instagram are clearly identified by a label in the EU. This gives users more details about the ad. In addition to the party’s contact details, you can also see who financed the campaign. In addition to demographic characteristics of the target group (age, gender, location), you can also see how often the ad was displayed.

Campaign advertising is now available for 7 years

Facebook is trying to be more transparent. That is why election advertising and political campaigns are collected in a separate tool called the “Ad Library”. Users can easily find out which advertisements on the platform have been classified as political. Information such as the number of displays, demographic characteristics (age distribution, location, gender) can be called up for each saved advertisement.

From mid-April, Facebook will also block election advertisements that have not been correctly registered. In order to be able to place election advertising or advertising on topics of national relevance on Facebook and Instagram, you have to go through an authorization process. You can find more information about this procedure here.

Anyone can see the details of a campaign in the Facebook ad library. Screenshot: Facebook

What must be considered when designing election advertising?

There is no legal regulation for the design. The design of election advertising is mainly restricted by the Basic Law. Fundamental rights (e.g. human dignity) must not be violated under any circumstances. Symbols and signs of unconstitutional organizations are prohibited! Furthermore, anti-competitive, youth protection and criminal law regulations must be complied with.

Examples of political campaigns or election advertising on Facebook

Using various examples, we will show you exactly what an election campaign advertisement on Facebook or Instagram could look like. For example, the ad can be linked to a specific event or prompt the user to send a message. The media can also be freely selected. You can use a single picture, a picture gallery consisting of several pictures (slideshow) or an interactive video.

Election campaign advertising of the SPD Berlin on the social network Facebook. Screenshot: Facebook

Sponsored advertisement on Facebook and Instagram by politician Phil Hackemann. Screenshot: Facebook

Another example from the FDP screenshot: Facebook

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The next elections in the overview

Local elections in Hesse14.03.2021
State elections in Baden-Württemberg14.03.2021
State elections in Rhineland-Palatinate14.03.2021
State elections in Thuringia04/25/2021 (postponed to 09/26/2021)
State elections in Saxony-Anhalt06.06.2021
Local elections in Lower Saxony12.09.2021
Bundestag election26.09.2021
Election to the 19th Berlin House of Representatives26.09.2021
State elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania26.09.2021

Due to the corona pandemic, the state elections in Thuringia were postponed from April to September a few days ago.

Place election advertising online:
Quite simply with the FLYERALARM digital marketing portal

Draw attention to yourself and turn on yours Canvassing very easy in the most popular social networks. With our voucher code Super election year 2021 get a 10 percent discount on your first social media advertisement. Place your election advertising now

Article published: May 19, 2019 - Updated: January 13, 2021