Connecting With Young Voters: The Role Of Social Media In The 2024 Election


In recent elections, young voters have had a significant impact on the outcome, with Democrats benefitting from their increased turnout. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Republicans are finding it challenging to catch up in their digital strategy and effectively engage with the youth vote. This struggle stems from a lack of understanding of how to resonate with young voters on social media platforms.

Key Takeaway

Age alone is not enough to convince young voters to show up to the polls. Political candidates must also be proficient content creators and connect authentically with young voters on social media platforms.

The Influence of Content Creators

Candidates are now expected to be content creators in addition to being politicians. One notable example is Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who gained popularity among young voters through his TikTok presence. Fetterman’s ability to leverage trending TikTok sounds and engage with youth culture resonated with young voters and helped boost his campaign.

However, not all politicians were successful in their social media strategies. Some attempted to appear cool and relatable but ended up being dismissed as cringe. This highlights the importance of authenticity and understanding the target audience when utilizing social media platforms for political outreach.

The Role of Digital Strategists

Annie Wu Henry, a digital strategist and known as the “TikTok whisperer,” played a crucial role in Fetterman’s campaign. In an interview, Henry emphasized the need for politicians to understand the preferences of Generation Z and avoid using forced pop culture references. Unappealing content can have a negative impact on engagement.

Henry also discussed the growing influence of influencers who base their platforms around social issues. These influencers have the potential to shape young voters’ opinions and drive meaningful political engagement. However, platforms like TikTok rely on users showing interest in specific content, making it essential for politicians to build rapport with individuals who may not typically follow political influencers.

The Case of Jake Paul and Vivek Ramaswamy

Jake Paul, a prominent YouTuber and social media influencer, represents an interesting case study. While predominantly non-political, his endorsement holds significant sway among his demographic of young, non-partisan followers. This highlights the potential impact of reaching out to influencers who resonate with young audiences.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign made the strategic choice of enlisting Jake Paul’s endorsement, despite perceptions that Paul’s content may not align with traditional political discourse. Ramaswamy’s messaging on TikTok focused on resonating with Gen Z by positioning himself as an outsider and someone who understands the concerns of young people. However, his attacks on young people and controversial views on voting rights undermine the authenticity of his campaign.

The Republican Struggle and the Authenticity Gap

Republicans face difficulties in engaging with Gen Z due to a combination of messaging misalignment and a lack of authenticity. Gen Z values consistency, and any discrepancies between a politician’s words and actions are likely to be noticed and disregarded.

The success of Fetterman’s campaign serves as an example for other candidates seeking to connect with young voters. To bridge the authenticity gap, Republicans must learn how to effectively communicate with Gen Z on platforms like TikTok and Twitch, catering to their preferences and demonstrating a genuine understanding of their concerns.

In conclusion, the struggle faced by Republicans in connecting with young voters online highlights the necessity for politicians to adapt to the digital age and effectively engage on social media platforms. The key to success lies in authenticity, understanding the target audience, and leveraging the influence of content creators who resonate with young voters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *