Getting the word out about voter registration: Vote.gov’s first social media takeover with USAGov

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Getting the word out about voter registration: Vote.gov’s first social media takeover with USAGov


Last fall, vote.gov and the USAGov program partnered on our first “social media takeover” for a day-long campaign encouraging people to register to vote. As key players connecting people to official government information and services, we rooted this effort in our mutual messaging and goals to help guide the public.

Background

The campaign took place on September 19, 2023, for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a national effort encouraging people to register to vote and make a voting plan before Election Day. It occurs annually about six weeks before Election Day — ahead of all state registration deadlines (except North Dakota, which doesn’t require registration before voting). 

Partnering with USAGov made sense for vote.gov. We were eager to remind folks to register to vote and update their registration in honor of the national effort, but our vote.gov social media presence is much smaller than USAGov’s. Additionally, this was an opportunity for our newer vote.gov team to work with the established USAGov program’s outreach team staff, their best practices, and established processes on different social media platforms. By partnering with USAGov, vote.gov was able to spread the word to a larger audience across USAGov’s multiple English-language @USAGov platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and X). 

We had two main goals for the social media takeover: 

  • Answer common questions from the public about voting and how to register to vote
  • Raise awareness about vote.gov on USAGov’s social media platforms where vote.gov doesn’t have a presence

Key impacts

The partnership was successful and offered a model for future social media takeovers and partnerships between federal agencies and teams. Across the three @USAGov social media channels, we reached an audience of 36,000 people with about 2,000 engagements on the day-long takeover. We saw the largest reach and engagement on Instagram. It was an opportunity to create a vote.gov presence on the growing and visually-driven platform.

USAGov Facebook Screenshot from 9/19 USAGov Instagram Screenshot from 9/19

Caption: USAGov posts on Facebook and Instagram on NVRD saw high engagement.

Even in an “off” election year, without a presidential or midterm election in 2023, the enthusiasm for voter registration was palpable. Several organizations and influencers from diverse backgrounds tagged vote.gov in their social media posts, encouraging people to visit us to get more registration information. This included United States. senators, the secretary of the Department of Energy, sports teams like the NY Knicks and NY Rangers, the Chicago History Museum, actress Jennifer Lewis’s gospel choir, and several more. We also saw particularly high engagement from messaging about the multilingual content on vote.gov, which is available in 17 languages.

Traffic to vote.gov jumped from an average of around 5,000 daily visitors during the rest of September 2023 to more than 42,000 visitors on NVRD. 

Internally, this partnership created a testing ground for outreach efforts between vote.gov and USAGov, which are part of the same larger organization. And it affirmed the potential for future resource sharing and collaboration. We learned more about each other’s processes, campaign styles, and what is valuable when engaging with the public.

Future plans

There is clearly interest in and enthusiasm for vote.gov across social media platforms, and we’re working to expand @VoteGov to more platforms in time for the 2024 presidential election. 

We’re planning to spread the word about voter registration again on NVRD this year and are considering also posting in non-English languages to make sure that people who have limited English proficiency (LEP) know that vote.gov is available in several languages. 

Vote.gov looks forward to collaborating more with USA.gov, USAGov en Español, and federal agency partners to amplify voting information throughout the presidential election year.

If you’re part of a federal program interested in partnering with vote.gov to get the word out about voter registration — whether on NVRD or another day of the year — contact vote@gsa.gov.  




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