Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. If I Ran Marco Rubio’s Snapchat Account for a Day

 

snapcode-300x300Snapchat? Isn’t that the app 13-year-olds are using to text each other and college kids are using for sexting pictures? No, not even close.

In 2015, brands on Snapchat discovered the power of stories and the world of Snapchat changed forever. Not buying it? Let me give you some numbers to show you how on fire Snapchat is.

From May 2015 to January 2016, Snapchat’s daily videos grew 350 percent, from 2 billion (with a B) to 7 billion per day. Meanwhile, a total of 8 billion videos were viewed on Facebook. Snapchat is closing quick with an estimated 60 percent of voters under age 34 on the new platform.

Teenagers and college kids are often the first to adopt a social network, but Snapchat is quickly aging up. Facebook started as a platform for college students to interact with each other. But, as the average age of Facebook began to climb, the college kids jumped over to Instagram. Instagram soon had the same age range as Facebook. So in 2011, they started moving to Snapchat. Now the adults are beginning to ruin Snapchat for the kids.

So should campaigns push their talking points and press releases on Snapchat like they do on other platforms? Absolutely not. Snapchat is a storytelling platform that is unique from the others. The service is designed for those in-between moments; those quick glimpses that give you a sense of who a person is and what they’re really like. Snapchat is the ultimate video storytelling platform.

Let’s take a look at how a few Republican presidential campaigns are using it now.

John Kasich

Kasich on Snapchat

Kasich is on the verge of having a decent campaign on Snapchat, but he also had what may have been the worst Snap video clip of the cycle this past week.

The Ohio governor’s campaign puts out a good amount of content. Some days Team Kasich only has two or three stories, but many days, they will post seven or eight times. While this is still not great, it’s much better than a lot of campaigns. They’re doing a good job using geo filters and text on his Snaps to help tell the story and showing momentum with angles of crowds that make them look large.

However, Kasich’s Snaps are all very impersonal, showing clip after clip of him talking to crowds. We never hear him talk to us, except at a distance. Who is the real John Kasich? From Snapchat, we have no idea.

The worst snap of the campaign?

Kasich also had one of the worst Snaps, if not the very worst I’ve seen from a campaign. The day after the South Carolina primary, Kasich arrived for a rally in Atlanta. According to the Snap story, there was such a large crowd he needed an overflow section. Kasich’s campaign set up for him to visit that overflow section, a smart move with great potential for content. But then the campaign posted a video in which Kasich said, “It’s good to see you all. I’m trying to figure out what you all are looking for.” That was it. It was not only an opportunity missed, but it was horrible storytelling. Who wants that to be the message the day after he had a disappointing performance?

Marco Rubio

Marco’s campaign also varies day to day with the content they are creating on Snapchat. Some days he will push a good amount and some days there are just one or two posts to his story. The campaign does do a good job of telling people to head to his website.

snapchat for political campaingsWhat is he doing right? Marco’s campaign did a good job leading up to the Nevada Caucus. The campaign showed local officials encouraging people to get out and caucus. They showed supporters gathering in the office and heading out to go door-to-door. They had some Snaps that gave the web address to find your local caucusing location. These were all right ways to use Snapchat. Most days, though, the campaign is not that good.

The place they are utterly failing is in showing who Rubio is as a person. The only time we ever see Rubio talk to us is when he is on stage prepping for debates and he tells the camera to tune in and watch tonight. Of all the candidates in this election, Snapchat was made for Rubio.

The Others

On most days, Ben Carson is posting the most content, but his content strategy is almost the same as Kasich. Not great. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump do not use Snapchat on a regular basis. Their content, when done, is very basic, boring, and not engaging at all. Ted Cruz recently did a Snap that showed Governor Abbott endorsing him. This could have been a big moment, but again, it was just the governor speaking from the stage. They should have taken 10 seconds to do a quick Snap with Abbott and Cruz talking right into the camera.


Dean Ouellette on Snapchat

It is easy for me to sit at the keyboard of my Macbook and critique what they’re doing. The obvious question is, what would I do?

Let’s pretend the Koch brothers called me and said, we want you to help Rubio; we will make an in-kind contribution, you do what you need to do. (Note: I only pick Rubio because I think his personality would be Snapchat gold.)

I don’t know enough about him personally, so I’m going to make a few assumptions and tell you how I would handle a Rubio Snapchat campaign.

An example day

5:50 am I show a short video of Marco Rubio in the gym on the elliptical or lifting weights.

7:15 am I post a photo of Rubio eating his omelet talking on the phone to his kids.

7:30 am I hand the phone to Marco for a quick personal message. Notice, I do not film it for him, I have him hold the phone himself. Maybe he says, “Just got off the phone with the kids, I miss them, but so excited to be headed to Minnesota today.”

7:31 am Marco does a second Snap that says, “If you are going to be at one of my rallies today, snap me back and let me know which one.”

I would then go through the snaps he receives during the day and give a Thumbs Up emoji to those who did take the time to respond. Yes, a campaign engaging with a request directly from the candidate; think of Zappos or Southwest Airlines. They don’t let mentions go by without responding and interacting.

9:10 am I Snap a video of Marco on stage in front of the crowd. I use a geo filter to show where he is and add the text, “Wow amazing crowd! Snap us a video if you are here.”

9:11 am I follow that up with a Snap that says “First person to come find me wins this free Marco Coffee Mug.” When this person arrives we are both snapping on our accounts about the gift.

9:46 am After the rally, Rubio is on the line shaking hands, and I catch a six-second clip of Rubio talking to a Navy Vet in his USS hat. The text across the video says, “Navy Veterans love Marco.” And I use another emoji, maybe an anchor or a boat.

10:03 am I take a picture of Rubio backstage talking to the Mayor.

10:40 am A short video of Marco boarding a plane with the text, “Minnesota, here we come!”

11:02 am A picture of Marco huddled with his consultants and the text, “Going over numbers, they are looking good.”

11:30 am Marco takes one minute to have some fun. “Snapchat, here are my favorite Trump Tweets from the last 24 hours.” He then reads a couple. He finishes with, “Snap us your favorites and we will pick one and give away a free Marco hat.”

11:58 am In the airport, Marco takes the phone and says, “I just got off the phone with Senator _____ and he has announced he is going to endorse my campaign for President because he agrees we need to save the Republican Party for conservatives.”

2:30 pm A short video of Rubio saying, “About to sit down with Fox News for an interview, tune in and watch it.”

2:35 pm Short video of Rubio talking into the camera with Fox News.

4:40 pm A video of a Minnesota team member saying to the camera (with the long line, behind us), “This is amazing Marcomentum, I cannot believe we have this many people here.” Second video: “We have been working hard. If you are in Minnesota, join us for our phone banks.” Provide the website in the text.

5:28 pm While the announcer is getting the crowd fired up, Rubio speaks straight into the camera before he heads on stage. “The atmosphere in Minnesota is electric.”

5:35 pm I send a Snap of me with a Marco hat on, with the text, “First person to find me gets one of these hats.”

7:10 pm Video of Rubio as he eats dinner with some supporters, showing his human side.

8:45 pm A quick video of Rubio, again holding the phone in his hand saying, “Good night Snapchat. I’m off to read a book to my kids over Facetime. Let’s do it again tomorrow.”


So what did I do here? First we humanized Marco, a guy just like the rest of us. He works out, talks on the phone, eats, and reads books to his kids. He has a family he obviously loves and misses. What was the total time commitment for the candidate to pull this off? Less than five minutes in the day. And in those five minutes, he made a personal connection with those on the other end.

We also created interaction with the campaign and supporters. And the campaign will acknowledge every one of the Snaps they get back. It will be hundreds, true. But that is a small price to pay for the engagement you get and the dedicated fans who will make the calls, go door-to-door, and contribute $25 when you ask.

I believe Snapchat is the best way to get engagement from supporters and make connections with young voters. No one, not even the Democrats, are doing a good job on the platform.

I will mention one person you should be following on Snapchat: US Senator Steve Daines of Montana. The one area he’s missing is the interaction, but he is doing a great job of filling in those behind-the-scenes moments in Montana and DC.

Next week, we will talk about everyone’s favorite, Twitter.


Read the first post in my social media series here.

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Fredösphere Member
    FredösphereJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I didn’t know what you meant by Snapchat’s story-telling ability so I just spent 2 minutes at Snapchat looking for an FAQ or introduction. I couldn’t find one. What kind of “on fire” website is that?

    • #1
    • March 1, 2016, at 10:37 AM PST
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  2. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Fredösphere:I didn’t know what you meant by Snapchat’s story-telling ability so I just spent 2 minutes at Snapchat looking for an FAQ or introduction. I couldn’t find one. What kind of “on fire” website is that?

    The website is irrelevant, it is all on app.. 350% growth in less than a year, and about to overtake Facebook on the number of videos consumed a day. Enfuego on fire!

    https://support.snapchat.com/ca/stories

    • #2
    • March 1, 2016, at 10:46 AM PST
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  3. Ross C Member
    Ross CJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This sounds like a good days work on snapchat. How do you keep this fresh over time?

    1. “Excited to be in Minnesota.”
    2. “Excited to be in Maine.
    3. “Excited to be in…”
    • #3
    • March 1, 2016, at 10:52 AM PST
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  4. Lily Bart Inactive

    I’m turned off by the selling of ‘image’. I’m discouraged that people are so easily swayed by this. I just want good, limited government. That’s all.

    • #4
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:00 AM PST
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  5. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Ross C:This sounds like a good days work on snapchat. How do you keep this fresh over time?

    1. “Excited to be in Minnesota.”
    2. “Excited to be in Maine.
    3. “Excited to be in…”

    You would need to keep it fresh. There is always something interesting going on in a campaign and fresh content would be great. I would do some sort of call out at every event to get those there snapping and sharing. You are right though, you cannot put up the same boring content every day, that is exactly what they are doing now. Tell a story about what is happening that day.

    • #5
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:05 AM PST
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  6. Mr. Dart Inactive

    Meanwhile Right to Rise spent over a million dollars sending direct mail to my house. Their 3D Marco Spinning Weathervane was especially inept.

    • #6
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:06 AM PST
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  7. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Lily Bart:I’m turned off by the selling of ‘image’. I’m discouraged that people are so easily swayed by this. I just want good, limited government. That’s all.

    People vote/buy from those they like and trust. We may or may not like it, but it is the truth. Yes, you need to match someone on the issues. For most of us activist that is our big issue. Where are they on the issue. And that is where the connecting and engaging with supporters comes in to get them more active. For the swing voter who is undecided, that trust and like factor is big. It takes both.

    We both know, if your big issue, like mine, is pro-life. I can like the candidate fine, but if they are pro-choice and they are running against a good steady pro-life candidate, we are not going to vote for them.

    It takes both though in my opinion.

    • #7
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:09 AM PST
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  8. Sash Member

    Wish the campaign would hire you… send the idea to Marco.

    My daughters snap chat, they got me one and one day while waiting for a meeting we were hilarious.

    I am just not young enough to understand why I would want or need my day sent around to people.

    I love that Facebook exists, and love updates, but seldom go there, I never post, I do not understand the need to be a celebrity. It creeps me out. I like privacy.

    • #8
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:10 AM PST
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  9. Sash Member

    Lily Bart:I’m turned off by the selling of ‘image’. I’m discouraged that people are so easily swayed by this. I just want good, limited government. That’s all.

    Everything about this election is just disappointing.

    It makes me wonder if in the very very beginning of the French revolution if there wasn’t a group like us, who tried to tell the nobles they needed to clean up their acts, but were ignored, and then the mobs rose up and killed everyone, and there was nothing they could do.

    And selfishly, I wonder how best to stay on the sidelines until we know how it all shakes out. I’d like to keep my head.

    • #9
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:13 AM PST
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  10. Spin Inactive
    SpinJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Snapchat: one more reason to move my family to a cabin in the woods…

    • #10
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:19 AM PST
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  11. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Spin:Snapchat: one more reason to move my family to a cabin in the woods…

    I get it.. I was right there with you just 3 months ago.

    Here is what is powerful about Snapchat. The retention rate is 93%! People watch, they need to watch because it is gone so quick. It is not like Twitter where it goes by in the stream and you may or may not get to it. With Snapchat people who follow you actually pay attention.

    • #11
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:36 AM PST
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  12. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Mr. Dart:Meanwhile Right to Rise spent over a million dollars sending direct mail to my house. Their 3D Marco Spinning Weathervane was especially inept.

    It is not an either or… Both should be used. As I said in the first of the series, data/mail has its place. This is not a replacement. But there are things you can do here that you cannot do there.

    • #12
    • March 1, 2016, at 11:38 AM PST
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  13. DJ EJ Member

    Very informative post, thank you. Living in a college town and in the midst of writing my dissertation, I’m surrounded by twenty-somethings using snapchat and other social media platforms. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked if I have an instagram account.

    I too support pro-life candidates and those with the conservative philosophy of limited government. Based on what you’ve shown for a typical candidate’s day, there are ways of using snapchat to get pro-life and conservative concepts across. Just one example that also keeps things fresh each day: have varying daily themes in which the candidate talks directly into the camera a series of snaps that focus on that theme (e.g. talk about why he’s pro-life on the day of the March for Life back in January and invite pro-lifers marching that day to follow the candidate and snap back their reasons for being pro-life). Millennials are a big pro-life generation and snapchat is a great way to reach them on their chosen social medium.

    Young people may have short attention spans, but that doesn’t mean snapchat has to be devoid of solid, thoughtful content.

    Being the most adept snapchat campaign is a great idea. The Rubio campaign should hire you.

    • #13
    • March 1, 2016, at 12:03 PM PST
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  14. Z in MT Member

    What the hell is Snapchat?

    • #14
    • March 1, 2016, at 12:11 PM PST
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  15. Fredösphere Member
    FredösphereJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sorry Dean, but we’re all just a little grumpy today here at Ricochet. Maybe if you had picked a different day…?

    • #15
    • March 1, 2016, at 12:16 PM PST
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  16. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Fredösphere:Sorry Dean, but we’re all just a little grumpy today here at Ricochet. Maybe if you had picked a different day…?

    Respect. I think we are going to be a lot more grumpy tomorrow :/

    • #16
    • March 1, 2016, at 12:31 PM PST
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  17. Spin Inactive
    SpinJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DeanOuellette:

    Fredösphere:Sorry Dean, but we’re all just a little grumpy today here at Ricochet. Maybe if you had picked a different day…?

    Respect. I think we are going to be a lot more grumpy tomorrow :/

    If the results tomorrow are as expected, I’m definitely moving to that cabin in the woods.

    • #17
    • March 1, 2016, at 1:10 PM PST
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  18. The Reticulator Member

    DeanOuellette:

    Fredösphere:I didn’t know what you meant by Snapchat’s story-telling ability so I just spent 2 minutes at Snapchat looking for an FAQ or introduction. I couldn’t find one. What kind of “on fire” website is that?

    The website is irrelevant, it is all on app.. 350% growth in less than a year, and about to overtake Facebook on the number of videos consumed a day. Enfuego on fire!

    https://support.snapchat.com/ca/stories

    If people find that sort of thing interesting we’re doomed anyway. So why bother?

    • #18
    • March 1, 2016, at 1:15 PM PST
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  19. Timothy Coleen Member

    Dean —

    This is great and I truly hope your suggestion is adopted … Not just by Rubio but by all conservative candidates. The media and liberals love to act like everyone with an R next to his/her name is a clone of Mr Burns from the Simpsons and yet they get all hot and bothered when Bill Clinton plays the saxophone or Barrack Obama shoots hoops. To them, a Democratic candidate is a person by definition but a Republican is a robot or a monster, or both.

    These kinds of technologies allow Republican candidates to break through the negative stereotypes. And best of all, this platform is where the young people are.

    I think what you are describing sounds a lot like watching the movie “Mitt” but in 10 second increments. Over time, these little videos turn a candidate from a boring talking head into a person. And I can’t understand why our side wouldn’t embrace such a technology. This is a chance to present yourself the way you want others to see you, not as the gatekeeper media chooses to portray you.

    I am a Millennial and I loathe Instagram and Snapchat. That’s mostly because I hate screen time (which is why I’m infrequently posting on Ricochet) but I know that most folks my age and younger live for their virtual worlds. We owe it to our principals to become a part of the virtual worlds or we will fade into obscurity.

    • #19
    • March 1, 2016, at 2:31 PM PST
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  20. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    The Reticulator:

    DeanOuellette:

    Fredösphere:I didn’t know what you meant by Snapchat’s story-telling ability so I just spent 2 minutes at Snapchat looking for an FAQ or introduction. I couldn’t find one. What kind of “on fire” website is that?

    The website is irrelevant, it is all on app.. 350% growth in less than a year, and about to overtake Facebook on the number of videos consumed a day. Enfuego on fire!

    https://support.snapchat.com/ca/stories

    If people find that sort of thing interesting we’re doomed anyway. So why bother?

    Not everyone agrees on everything. Time are changing, quicker than ever. While some people will resist, conservatives need to keep up with those who are moving quickly in other directions to get our message out!

    • #20
    • March 1, 2016, at 3:03 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    Timothy Coleen:

    This is great and I truly hope your suggestion is adopted … Not just by Rubio but by all conservative candidates. The media and liberals love to act like everyone with an R next to his/her name is a clone of Mr Burns from the Simpsons and yet they get all hot and bothered when Bill Clinton plays the saxophone or Barrack Obama shoots hoops. To them, a Democratic candidate is a person by definition but a Republican is a robot or a monster, or both.These kinds of technologies allow Republican candidates to break through the negative stereotypes. And best of all, this platform is where the young people are.

    I think what you are describing sounds a lot like watching the movie “Mitt” but in 10 second increments. Over time, these little videos turn a candidate from a boring talking head into a person. And I can’t understand why our side wouldn’t embrace such a technology. This is a chance to present yourself the way you want others to see you, not as the gatekeeper media chooses to portray you.

    I am a Millennial and I loathe Instagram and Snapchat. That’s mostly because I hate screen time (which is why I’m infrequently posting on Ricochet) but I know that most folks my age and younger live for their virtual worlds. We owe it to our principals to become a part of the virtual worlds or we will fade into obscurity.

    Thanks!

    • #21
    • March 1, 2016, at 3:04 PM PST
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  22. The Reticulator Member

    DeanOuellette:

    The Reticulator:

    DeanOuellette:

    Fredösphere:I couldn’t find one. What kind of “on fire” website is that?

    The website is irrelevant, it is all on app.. 350% growth in less than a year, and about to overtake Facebook on the number of videos consumed a day. Enfuego on fire!

    https://support.snapchat.com/ca/stories

    If people find that sort of thing interesting we’re doomed anyway. So why bother?

    Not everyone agrees on everything. Time are changing, quicker than ever. While some people will resist, conservatives need to keep up with those who are moving quickly in other directions to get our message out!

    That’s fine. I don’t get it, but some people do. I signed up for a Twitter account long ago when it was new, then looked at it and wondered, “So now what?” I didn’t get it, so ignored it for a couple of years. I then went back to my account and took another look. I still didn’t get it, so went away for another long time. Finally, after a few tries like that, I got it. Before Ricochet I used to spend a lot of time there.

    I might have got going on Twitter sooner if there had been some explanation as to how it worked. I like explanations. But these days people aren’t into explaining how social media work. They expect you to dive in.

    I don’t have the energy for another one just now.

    • #22
    • March 1, 2016, at 3:40 PM PST
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  23. Profile Photo Member

    Timothy Coleen:The media and liberals love to act like everyone with an R next to his/her name is a clone of Mr Burns from the Simpsons and yet they get all hot and bothered when Bill Clinton plays the saxophone or Barrack Obama shoots hoops. To them, a Democratic candidate is a person by definition but a Republican is a robot or a monster, or both.

    To Republicans, the presidential campaign is a job interview, to Democrats, it’s a casting decision.

    • #23
    • March 2, 2016, at 3:29 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Fredösphere Member
    FredösphereJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator: I signed up for a Twitter account long ago when it was new, then looked at it and wondered, “So now what?” I didn’t get it, so ignored it for a couple of years. I then went back to my account and took another look. I still didn’t get it, so went away for another long time. Finally, after a few tries like that, I got it.

    Yeah, it took me three tries to get the hang of Twitter. At first it just felt like I was sitting in a restaurant filled with people on their cell phones and I was forced to listen dozens of one-sided conversations.

    • #24
    • March 2, 2016, at 5:50 AM PST
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  25. RPD Member
    RPDJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The problem for me with Snapchat and Instagram before it is that they are entirely phone centric. I’m engaged when I’m at a computer, when I’m not at a computer I’m too busy doing things to mess with my phone. Unfortunately that leaves people like me out in the cold regarding the more current social media platforms.

    • #25
    • March 2, 2016, at 6:56 AM PST
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  26. Dean Ouellette Inactive
    Dean Ouellette

    RPD:The problem for me with Snapchat and Instagram before it is that they are entirely phone centric. I’m engaged when I’m at a computer, when I’m not at a computer I’m too busy doing things to mess with my phone. Unfortunately that leaves people like me out in the cold regarding the more current social media platforms.

    And there is nothing wrong with that obviously. Snapchat is not for everyone. But the exponential growth it is experiencing should not be ignored. I am not saying that anyone needs to be on Snapchat. What I am saying is for campaigns they can use it, and use it effectively. This is not an either-or situation.

    • #26
    • March 2, 2016, at 8:37 AM PST
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