Last year’s US presidential election played out on social platforms as much as it did in the streets and polling booths. This report discusses how politics shapes both the user and brand experiences on social media.
Are people spending less time on social media because of politics?
No. People say they are exhausted by politics on social media, but political content, particularly divisive discourse, continues to generate a lot of engagement for the platforms. At the same time, however, those feelings of exhaustion are driving some users to spend more time on platforms and content that are fun and entertaining, rather than serious or negative.
How is politics redefining the concept of brand safety?
Social media’s struggles with misinformation, fake news, and “echo chambers” (online communities of like-minded individuals) are making brands rethink their reliance on those platforms. As consumers increasingly expect the companies they engage with to stand for and do good, brands are becoming increasingly skeptical of social media.
How are political ad regulations affecting commercial advertisers?
Commercial advertisers stand to benefit. The game of political ad whack-a-mole is sending political campaign dollars off of social media and onto other platforms, like connected TV and OTT services, and forcing political campaigns to redirect their social efforts to organic and influencer marketing.
Should brands participate in political discourse on social media?
It’s down to brand values. Companies risk alienating a significant portion of their customers no matter what they do. Marketers also need to be prepared for backlash whether they take a stand on political issues or not.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses consumer attitudes toward and engagement with politics on social media, and how marketers can navigate the increasingly divisive social media environment.
KEY STAT: In a January 2021 Ipsos survey, 63% of US adult internet users supported the social networks’ decisions to suspend or delete then-President Donald Trump’s accounts, but there were significant differences based on political party affiliation.
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