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White House Recruits TikTok Influencers to Reach Young Voters with Key Messaging

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White House Recruits TikTok Influencers to Reach Young Voters with Key Messaging

As the US Government continues to weigh a potential ban on TikTok, the Biden Administration is also looking to utilize the app’s influence to sway young voters, with the White House working with hundreds of social media influencers to help communicate Biden’s policy agenda, ahead of a likely re-election campaign.

As reported by Axios:

Biden’s digital strategy team will connect with influencers across the nation to target those who may not follow the White House or Democratic Party on social media – or who have tuned out mainstream media altogether. Four Biden digital staffers are focused on influencers and independent content creators. The staffers officially work for the White House, not Biden’s campaign -but reaching young and suburban voters is clearly a priority.”

Biden’s team is aiming to work with influencers in regional communities, coinciding with Biden’s visits to those regions, in order to maximize messaging resonance. TikTok and Instagram will be the key platforms of focus in this new push.

Which, of course, makes sense – young people are highly engaged on both platforms, more so than other social apps. But it does also seem like a conflict – on the one hand, Biden’s close to signing a bill that would outlaw TikTok entirely, while on the other, it’s using it as a key connective tool?

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I mean, both have their own logic, and are not necessarily connected – and if anything, it’s possible that the use of TikTok for political campaigning could further underscore its potential influence in this respect.

But it is an interesting comment on the current media landscape, with a Chinese-owned platform, viewed as a potential vector for foreign influence, also considered to be an important platform for connecting with prospective voters.

Does that lessen the likelihood of a possible TikTok ban in the US? Probably not.

It’s unclear where the White House currently stands on this, but after the recent appearance of TikTok chief Shou Zi Chew before the US Senate, which didn’t seem to go overly well for the company, and even more recent displays of Chinese aggression in Taiwan, after Taiwanese officials met with US representatives, TikTok doesn’t seem to be in any better position, in regards to the concerns around the app.

That could still see Biden drop the banhammer at any time – but till then, it seems that they’ll also be using it to maximize Biden’s own messaging among the youth.

An interesting statement on the state of media in 2023.

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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