THE BLOG

Each One Reach One: Social Media GOTV

11/05/2012 01:54 pm ET | Updated Jan 05, 2013

If you volunteer on a field operation for a political campaign, you'll hear the mantra "each one reach one."

Turns out, we can use our social media networks to influence friends and followers to vote. I've heard from many of friends online -- Ananda Leeke teaching a #yogaforobama class/fundraiser and getting her whole family to #blogforobama; bloggers getting their craft on and using visual social media to urge friends to Get Out The Vote; and friends knocking on doors and blogging the experience to encourage others to canvass.

And then there's my favorite new site, Where's My F-ing Polling Place. Which is so f-ing brilliant and simple to use, it's genius. Send it to all your friends.

Turns out, this is solid behavioral science. Here's the upshot of the latest research on how to get out the vote, courtesy of Yale University's GOTV project:

1) Social networks and interpersonal influence can be powerful mobilizing forces.

2) People within your social network will be moved by your actions. As bloggers, we know this. Turns out it's true for voting too.

The Yale research found "personalized messages delivered by personal contacts may be more effective than personalized messages delivered by people outside a voter's social network, and "social networks and interpersonal communication may effectively induce positive externalities of GOTV campaigns by proliferating mobilization messages once received to others in the network and, alternatively, by exerting strong social norms of participation within the network."

TRANSLATION: if your friends see you voting, they are more likely to vote! Here is a fun "I voted" avatar to put on your social profiles.

On Election Day, literally show your social networks how you are voting and helping others to the polls: post photos and tag friends on Facebook using the Vote With Friends app. It's the best kind of peer pressure.