Election Campaign Win For Deirdre O’Connor 

How we helped election candidate win 68% of the vote.

18 December 2020  
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Deirdre ran for the position of Deputy General Secretary / General Treasurer for the INTO, Ireland's largest national school teachers union. If you’re a primary school teacher in Ireland, the chances are you’ve seen the social media election content that we produced and promoted for Deirdre O’Connor in late 2020. 

Deirdre won 68% of the vote which is an even higher margin than John Boyle whose INTO election campaign we also ran.

How Did This Election Campaign Play Out?

The social media landscape is a very different place in 2020 so our decisions about platforms and ad objectives were a little different.

Deirdre is more of a Twitter person. While that platform is a great place for politicians to engage, our recommendation was to focus more on Instagram and Facebook because that is where her audience lies. Both were more suited to your typical 30-something teacher audience. No surprises, Instagram won.

Most of the messaging was done through video. On the last day before level 3 lockdown, we shot 6 different campaign videos for Deirdre – with two different endings. 

  • The first set rolled out in Sept-Oct when the branches are active in this election campaign. The call to action was support me. 
  • A second set was used in Nov-Dec where the audience was teachers and the call to action was vote for me.
  • On top of this set of high quality videos, we also produced some Instagram Stories style video content.

A total pro, and the hardest working individual, Deirdre also knocked out a few chatty Stories style pieces to support content and this helped a lot. 

election social media win
  • For example, last week 2 days before the election was due to close, it became apparent that the Northern Irish would have to vote online and not through the traditional means. 
  • We produced some images to communicate this, but Deirdre was able to hop on to Stories and get a message out to her audience, being helpful and being there to support them.

Paid Social Media for Political Campaign

The main difference between this campaign and the last INTO election campaign we ran is the changes that have taken place on the social media ads platforms.

❌ Twitter was off limits because it doesn’t allow any political advertising.

❌ LinkedIn wasn’t an option because we didn’t have that kind of budget.

✔️ Facebook and Instagram allow political advertising. However, it required sending passports in for approval, waiting, and some other hoops to jump though.

If you are planning on running ads on Facebook or Instagram for a political campaign, do not underestimate how much time it can take to get approved. We were doing it in the middle of a US election for Deirdre, so that’s why it took a little longer.

We were also up against all the advertisers in the run up to Black Friday and of course Christmas. Despite all this, we managed to get good ad results at not too bad costs.

  • We cycled our target audience through all the videos, by playing with the frequency option on the reach objective.
  • Video views averaged at 2 cent per view, a little higher than average, but for this time of the year, not bad at all.
  • We were able to warm up a cold audience as Deirdre was coming in as a brand new advertiser with no custom audiences to speak of. 

Bringing It All Together For This Election 

Deirdre O’Connor had a team working offline on the phones garnering votes, as well as the brand awareness and social media campaign. 

We communicated how to vote through the medium of Instagram Stories, and shared videos on Twitter and Facebook.

The votes had to be in by last Friday. They were counted over the weekend and the good news came through yesterday that our candidate won!  Deirdre O’Connor won 68% of the vote. We are really pleased for her as she has worked tirelessly for years in the INTO and truly represents.

"This was a unique election, as we couldn’t get out and about in the normal way and so social media played a big part in raising my profile and getting my message across. I’m a great believer in using expertise where it’s available, and it made a huge difference to me and my campaign to have Maryrose and her team looking after social media. It made time for me to look after all the other aspects of the election, and also was much less stressful than managing it myself.” 

Deirdre O'Connor

Deputy General Secretary / General Treasurer Designate INTO

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