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Some presidential candidates spending big to target voters on social media – WMUR Manchester

Presidential campaigns are reaching out to voters in a variety of ways – from the time-tested methods of door-to-door canvassing, television and direct mail, to, now more than ever, through social media.>> Download the FREE WMUR appFacebook, Instagram and other platforms have become widely used as an effective way to tailor messages to specific groups geographically and demographically.“It really goes back to 2008, which was the year where you had people really focusing in on social media platforms,” said Chris Galdieri, a political science professor at Saint Anselm College.“Facebook had become a ‘thing” and the Barack Obama campaign did a lot of work on social media,” he said. “And in the years since, Facebook came to realize that it’s a gold mine and so they offered the ability to tailor ads to particular audiences.”In New Hampshire, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on these platforms. Nationally, spending is in the millions of dollars.Hearst Television and WMUR reviewed Facebook and Instagram advertising by the candidates in New Hampshire between Dec. 1 and Thursday, Jan. 16, to get a sense of the candidates strategies as they have been making their final pushes toward the first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 11.We found that nine of the 12 major Democratic presidential candidates have spent has much as $488,000 on Facebook and Instagram in the state during the seven-week period.The leading spender was former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who spent ,more than 40 percent of that total – as much as $208,700.Buttigieg’s spending was far ahead of the second-largest Facebook/Instagram spender in New Hampshire since Dec. 1 — Tom Steyer, who has spent as much as $87,000, while Andrew Yang, has the third-highest total, up to $80,100.(Facebook lists ad spending in ranges; the totals we are reporting are maximums for each candidate.)Other relatively big spenders in New Hampshire have been U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, spending up to $63,500, while lesser amounts have been spent by the Bernie Sanders campaign, $22,200; Elizabeth Warren, $21,600; Joe Biden, $2,487 and Andrew Yang, $1,590.Sen. Amy Klobuchar has not advertised on Facebook or Instagram in New Hampshire since Dec. 1, according to Facebook data obtained by Hearst Television.All candidates’ spending is expected to pick up in the final three weeks leading to the voting.The Facebook spending in New Hampshire was far less than in Iowa, which has a population about three times larger than the Granite State. In the first-caucus state, presidential campaigns have spent more than $1.4 million since Dec. 1.In the two other early voting states, Facebook and Instagram advertising in Nevada was $252,000 and South Carolina, $446,000.The biggest spenders on Facebook and Instagram nationally are Steyer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, each at about $3.2 million since Dec. 1. Bloomberg is not campaigning in the four voting states and has not advertised in Iowa or New Hampshire on Facebook or Instagram.Buttigieg’s spent up to $1.4 million nationally.On the Republican side, President Donald Trump’s campaign has spent as much as $1.3 million on Facebook and Instagram nationally, including as much as $126,000 in Iowa, but negligible amounts in New Hampshire, $198; South Carolina, $1,188; and Nevada, $891. His primary opponents, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, did not spend on the two platforms during the seven-week period reviewed.A closer look shows the message the campaigns are conveying to voters.The Buttigieg campaign, for example, is currently running an ad with the simple, but direct message, “People are not getting paid enough. We can do something about it and we’re going to fix it.”A six-second clip shows Buttigieg making that point in a speech. The ad had up to 25,000 impressions, meaning that it was displayed about 25,000 times between Dec. 1 and Jan. 16.The ad was directed toward a wide range of people of all age groups, but mostly middle-aged and older voters, Facebook data shows.A Buttigieg ad currently running on Instagram focuses on health care, saying, “We need a health care system that works for all Americans, without forcing people onto a plan they don’t want. My proposal, Medicare for All Who Want It, allows you — not insurance companies or the government — to decide for yourself and your family what plan is best for your life.”Although the ad shows a photo of Buttigieg consoling an older man, Facebook lists the ad as being targeted at men between the 18 and 34 years old.Another Buttigieg ad focuses on voting rights, calling for “a 21st Century Voting Rights Act.” It is running only on Instagram and its target audience is a wide range of voters between 18 and 54 years old, but most directed at men between 25 and 34.In contrast to the wide range of voters targeted by Buttigieg, the Hearst Television and WMUR review showed that former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has targeted its small level of spending – less than $2,500 – on older voters, who are viewed as the base of Biden’s support. Within that age group, women are the prime focus.Ads run by Biden on Facebook and Instagram involve plan “to build on the Violence Against Women Act,” which have received a total of about 7,000 impressions; gun violence, 11,000 impressions and in opposition to “Trump’s tax cuts,” about 25,000 impressions.Warren’s social media campaign in New Hampshire has largely targeted women with ads. She targeted young women with a series of ads inviting them to enter a contest to meet her and celebrity Jonathan Van Ness, recruiting volunteers and promoting her plans for “big, structural changes.”The Buttigieg campaign says social media is an integral part of the overall strategy employed for knocking on doors and holding neighborhood meetings – put simply, it says, “meeting voters where they are.”As all campaigns ramp up for a full-court press to get out the vote on primary day, social media will be even busier in the coming weeks.Early in the campaign, social media was critical to introducing the candidates to voters, especially in the case of Buttigieg, who was much less-known than the candidates who had served in Washington and, as a result, had higher levels of name recognition.The Buttigieg campaign said that was it less focused on targeting ads demographically than getting out its message on issues such as climate change and health care and his overall unity message. And, the campaign said, while it uses Facebook and Instagram to get its message out, it also uses other platforms, such as Pandora, Roku, Spotify and Reach using the news feeds features of the platforms.With social media, “A dollar does go a much longer way,” Galdieri said.“One thing that really struck me as unusual last summer was that several candidates were spending money on social media advertising trying to get donors. By the later rounds of the debates, one campaign was asking people to donate $1 and get a t-shirt that probably cost it $10. They were trying to get donors to qualify for the debates.”

Presidential campaigns are reaching out to voters in a variety of ways – from the time-tested methods of door-to-door canvassing, television and direct mail, to, now more than ever, through social media.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

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Facebook, Instagram and other platforms have become widely used as an effective way to tailor messages to specific groups geographically and demographically.

“It really goes back to 2008, which was the year where you had people really focusing in on social media platforms,” said Chris Galdieri, a political science professor at Saint Anselm College.

“Facebook had become a ‘thing” and the Barack Obama campaign did a lot of work on social media,” he said. “And in the years since, Facebook came to realize that it’s a gold mine and so they offered the ability to tailor ads to particular audiences.”

In New Hampshire, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on these platforms. Nationally, spending is in the millions of dollars.

Hearst Television and WMUR reviewed Facebook and Instagram advertising by the candidates in New Hampshire between Dec. 1 and Thursday, Jan. 16, to get a sense of the candidates strategies as they have been making their final pushes toward the first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 11.

We found that nine of the 12 major Democratic presidential candidates have spent has much as $488,000 on Facebook and Instagram in the state during the seven-week period.

The leading spender was former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who spent ,more than 40 percent of that total – as much as $208,700.

Buttigieg’s spending was far ahead of the second-largest Facebook/Instagram spender in New Hampshire since Dec. 1 — Tom Steyer, who has spent as much as $87,000, while Andrew Yang, has the third-highest total, up to $80,100.

(Facebook lists ad spending in ranges; the totals we are reporting are maximums for each candidate.)

Other relatively big spenders in New Hampshire have been U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, spending up to $63,500, while lesser amounts have been spent by the Bernie Sanders campaign, $22,200; Elizabeth Warren, $21,600; Joe Biden, $2,487 and Andrew Yang, $1,590.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has not advertised on Facebook or Instagram in New Hampshire since Dec. 1, according to Facebook data obtained by Hearst Television.

All candidates’ spending is expected to pick up in the final three weeks leading to the voting.

The Facebook spending in New Hampshire was far less than in Iowa, which has a population about three times larger than the Granite State. In the first-caucus state, presidential campaigns have spent more than $1.4 million since Dec. 1.

In the two other early voting states, Facebook and Instagram advertising in Nevada was $252,000 and South Carolina, $446,000.

The biggest spenders on Facebook and Instagram nationally are Steyer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, each at about $3.2 million since Dec. 1. Bloomberg is not campaigning in the four voting states and has not advertised in Iowa or New Hampshire on Facebook or Instagram.

Buttigieg’s spent up to $1.4 million nationally.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump’s campaign has spent as much as $1.3 million on Facebook and Instagram nationally, including as much as $126,000 in Iowa, but negligible amounts in New Hampshire, $198; South Carolina, $1,188; and Nevada, $891. His primary opponents, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, did not spend on the two platforms during the seven-week period reviewed.

A closer look shows the message the campaigns are conveying to voters.

The Buttigieg campaign, for example, is currently running an ad with the simple, but direct message, “People are not getting paid enough. We can do something about it and we’re going to fix it.”

A six-second clip shows Buttigieg making that point in a speech. The ad had up to 25,000 impressions, meaning that it was displayed about 25,000 times between Dec. 1 and Jan. 16.

WMUR-TV

The ad was directed toward a wide range of people of all age groups, but mostly middle-aged and older voters, Facebook data shows.

A Buttigieg ad currently running on Instagram focuses on health care, saying, “We need a health care system that works for all Americans, without forcing people onto a plan they don’t want. My proposal, Medicare for All Who Want It, allows you — not insurance companies or the government — to decide for yourself and your family what plan is best for your life.”

Although the ad shows a photo of Buttigieg consoling an older man, Facebook lists the ad as being targeted at men between the 18 and 34 years old.

WMUR-TV

Another Buttigieg ad focuses on voting rights, calling for “a 21st Century Voting Rights Act.” It is running only on Instagram and its target audience is a wide range of voters between 18 and 54 years old, but most directed at men between 25 and 34.

WMUR-TV

In contrast to the wide range of voters targeted by Buttigieg, the Hearst Television and WMUR review showed that former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has targeted its small level of spending – less than $2,500 – on older voters, who are viewed as the base of Biden’s support. Within that age group, women are the prime focus.

Ads run by Biden on Facebook and Instagram involve plan “to build on the Violence Against Women Act,” which have received a total of about 7,000 impressions; gun violence, 11,000 impressions and in opposition to “Trump’s tax cuts,” about 25,000 impressions.

WMUR-TV

WMUR-TV

WMUR-TV

Warren’s social media campaign in New Hampshire has largely targeted women with ads. She targeted young women with a series of ads inviting them to enter a contest to meet her and celebrity Jonathan Van Ness, recruiting volunteers and promoting her plans for “big, structural changes.”

WMUR-TV

WMUR-TV

WMUR-TV

The Buttigieg campaign says social media is an integral part of the overall strategy employed for knocking on doors and holding neighborhood meetings – put simply, it says, “meeting voters where they are.”

As all campaigns ramp up for a full-court press to get out the vote on primary day, social media will be even busier in the coming weeks.

Early in the campaign, social media was critical to introducing the candidates to voters, especially in the case of Buttigieg, who was much less-known than the candidates who had served in Washington and, as a result, had higher levels of name recognition.

The Buttigieg campaign said that was it less focused on targeting ads demographically than getting out its message on issues such as climate change and health care and his overall unity message.

And, the campaign said, while it uses Facebook and Instagram to get its message out, it also uses other platforms, such as Pandora, Roku, Spotify and Reach using the news feeds features of the platforms.

With social media, “A dollar does go a much longer way,” Galdieri said.

“One thing that really struck me as unusual last summer was that several candidates were spending money on social media advertising trying to get donors. By the later rounds of the debates, one campaign was asking people to donate $1 and get a t-shirt that probably cost it $10. They were trying to get donors to qualify for the debates.”

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