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What You Need to Know Now for Midterms

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Everyone’s abuzz about the big changes Meta is making to their platforms—starting with their flagship product Facebook. Meta is clearly feeling the heat from TikTok and other emerging platforms and is desperate to maintain its drifting user bases.

Many people don’t realize that Meta recently fired their former underperforming CTO and put in place a new one: Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, an old friend and former TA of Mark Zuckerberg. Boz is best known for leading the innovative VR headset and software marketplace, which was one of the first signals about Meta’s serious interest in leading the buildout of the metaverse.

But what does this mean for causes and candidates as we approach the midterm elections? It’s no coincidence that Meta is making changes (with more to come) ahead of the midterms, given their troubling influence on prior elections domestically and globally. Our team has been studying the latest announcements. Here’s more info straight from the crackerjack, always-ahead-of-the-curve Do Big Things Ads Team:

As you might have heard, Meta announced that they are making some major changes to Facebook (and continuing to change Instagram). Facebook will be focusing much more on vertical, short-form video. The Home tab will turn into more of a “discovery” area and will include photos, looping videos, and status updates from friends as well as content that is labeled as “Suggested for You.” For anyone who uses Instagram often, I’m sure this sounds familiar. To view content only from friends, family, or followed pages, people will need to navigate to the Feeds tab.

What Does This Mean For Us?

  1. Vertical, short-form video will be even more prioritized by platforms. As more content in this format floods the digital space, algorithms will push content of the highest quality.
  2. We encourage campaigns to post all ads and videos organically.
  3. Captions should always be included on videos and formatted for the platforms.
  4. Testing prior to full launch is even more critical for successful targeting.
  5. More changes are on the horizon. It’s no coincidence that Meta is making changes ahead of a major election. We are monitoring conditions for cause and candidate-focused ads. We’ll keep our community posted on the DBT Blogour Twitter feed, and our LinkedIn page as developments arise.

For further info, check out this newsletter from FWIW. Meta also provides best practices guidelines that are updated frequently.

Big Picture

  1. While the metaverse is a futuristic concept, it must not replicate the bias, inequity, and violence of IRL society. Communities of color, both in America and around the world, must be actively invited to help build a metaverse that reduces the toxic disinformation, mental health illnesses, harassment, sexual assault, and other violence that Meta’s platforms have now been proven to generate faster and wider than ever before.
  2. From our CEO, Henri Makembe: “Certainly it’s encouraging that Meta is finally undertaking a significant overhaul of its platforms. Yet what most people want to understand is more about how Meta plans to make Facebook and its other properties safer for society now and less about the metaverse to come.”
  3. Make no mistake—Meta’s platforms remain important as community builders and info disseminators. We recommend focusing more attention on relevant Facebook Groups and reaching out to increasingly powerful influencers on Instagram to help amp donations and create more momentum for GOTV in this historic election.

The Bottom Line

Meta is always shifting its algorithm to make political and issue-based advertising challenging and nuanced on its platforms. Savvy organizers and communicators have long understood the necessity of zigging and zagging creatively to ensure sharp performance. The stakes for our democracy and our freedoms remain high and once more, it’s critical to test before unleashing ads to ensure you’re motivating your target audiences at the appropriate levels.

We’d love to talk more about how we can help you navigate the ever-changing world of social media, email, TV ads, and more. The best strategy, after all, is a cohesive and coordinated effort across multiple platforms. Reach out to us ASAP if you’d like more advice on how to maximize the power of your campaign in the emergency environment in which we’re all living today.

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