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.
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.
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.
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.”
Deputy General Secretary / General Treasurer Designate INTO