In Search For Voters, Campaigns in 2012 Turn to Tech Again: Votizen Provides Politics a New Approach to Social Media

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Votizen is launching Votizen for Campaigns, a game-changing product that augments a campaign’s social media and field efforts, all while integrating with existing systems. A candidate's supporters can now help get-out-the-vote through social media: they can discover, contact, and recruit new in-district voters by scanning their own social connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, having 1-on-1 conversations with key voters. Unlike other social media efforts, actions taken on Votizen are measurable by in-district voter reach through supporters, voters contacted, voters identified, and votes won. Campaigns can now go beyond the "Like" and go for the vote.

A 'Like' represents untapped potential for a candidate, and Votizen lets you harness it, by giving those fans and followers something meaningful to do: identifying registered voters they know that can actually cast a ballot for that candidate.

With the rising costs of direct mail, the increase in cell phone usage, and the decline of newspaper circulations, reaching voters has never been more challenging for campaigns. With this elections’ fragmented media landscape, as Election Day approaches campaigns once again are turning to technology to provide their candidates with the winning edge. A vice presidential candidate will be announced through an app, online ads can now target congressional districts, and candidate’s spouses and surrogates are taking to Twitter. Just as they did in 2008, campaigns are focusing on growing and engaging their social media audience, while in reality they struggle with how to convert these new likes and followers into voters on Election Day.

With fewer than 100 days remaining until Election Day, Votizen (http://www.votizen.com) is launching Votizen for Campaigns, a game-changing product that augments a campaign’s social media and field efforts, all while integrating with existing systems. With Votizen for Campaigns, supporters can now help get-out-the-vote through social media: they can discover, contact, and recruit new in-district voters by scanning their own social connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, having 1-on-1 conversations with key voters. Campaigns can drive their supporters to scan their social networks for voters on Votizen through calls-to-actions in campaign emails, websites, blogs, and online advertisements. Votizen also enables supporters who live outside a candidate’s district to discover and recruit in-district voters. This is similar to the approach taken in 2008 by supporters who traveled to key battleground states like Ohio and Colorado to do door-to-door canvassing, but with virtually unlimited scale at a fraction of the cost. Votizen currently supports campaigns at all levels from school board to President, and can support outreach to over 200 million voting age members of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. To date, Votizen has surfaced over 1.4 million voters on the social networks of its users in all fifty states, giving them the power to affect elections around the country. Unlike other social media efforts, actions taken on Votizen are measurable by in-district voter reach through supporters, voters contacted, voters identified, and votes won.

Votizen is poised to dramatically impact the political industry by combining retail politics with the reach of social media to make political campaigns cheaper to win. “Political campaigns are a $10 billion dollar per year industry,” says Votizen board member Sean Parker, “due, in large part to the expense of television ads and air time. The money raised by campaigns has become a proxy for votes. Votizen replaces expensive traditional media, with social media, and delivers votes to candidates by relying on relationships instead of money.

“A ‘Like’ on a candidate’s Facebook page doesn’t represent a vote, it doesn’t even mean you can vote for them, or that you’re registered to vote at all,” says Votizen co-founder Jason Putorti, “A 'Like' represents untapped potential for a candidate, and Votizen lets you harness it, by giving those fans and followers something meaningful to do: identifying registered voters they know that can actually cast a ballot for that candidate.”

That is why political consultant Schuyler Hudak, former field director for Jerry Brown 2010, thinks Votizen is poised to make a huge impact in 2012: “The doors of the 21st century campaign are different than the traditional doors of 20th century campaigns. Today, if you want someone to open the door, you send their friend to do the knocking.”

About Votizen

Votizen is a social campaigning service that empowers voters, and political campaigns, to find voters in their existing social networks, and turn them out for candidates they want to see elected. Based in Silicon Valley, Votizen is a for-profit, non-partisan consumer technology company founded in 2010 by the co-creator of USA.gov and the designer of Mint.com, and backed by the original investors in Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. To date, Votizen has revealed over 1.4 million voters in the social networks of its members in all fifty states, giving them the power to affect elections all around the country.

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Schuyler Hudak
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