Campaigns shape public narratives by having volunteers share GIFs through peer-to-peer messages and social media posts.
Why are GIFs so popular? How does a campaign use GIFs in a social media campaign? How are GIFs produced and shared?
This blog describes how:
DemCast generated over a billion impressions on the 'For The People Act" through social media
Into Action creates cultural power by giving people tools to advocate for their cause
VoteForce app converts volunteers into social media influencers with timely content sharing
GIFs dominate peer-to-peer communications
A GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) is an image with animation in a small file size. They are a series of images or soundless video that loops continuously. GIFs provide both context and emotion in a short message that is easy to share. GIFs dominate this peer-to-peer communication because of their immediacy of consumption, minimal time demands and storytelling capabilities.
People pay more attention to messages from friends and family, rather than paid political ads. Sharing GIFs, emojis, memes and other graphic content is core to peer-to-peer communications. Those graphics have a lasting and powerful influence. They belong in your communication strategy.
Volunteer-driven advocacy with GIFs
DemCast cultivates, amplifies and maximizes the impact of grassroots digital media through a centralized hub for progressive content, designed by and for activists. It offers a smart, searchable meme and graphics library with blue wave and resistance art that can be used in social media posts. DemCast works with partners such as IntoAction (a TaskForce initiative) for GIFs.
DemCast's volunteer army includes 23,000 grassroots social media amplifiers. They take posted content from DemCast and spread it strategically on social media, using geographically targeted hashtags and partnerships with local, state and national groups.
DemCast uses unique hashtags to monitor the impact of its campaigns. They used #PassFTPA and #DemocracyHeroes for their education campaign on the "For The People Act". The campaign haas already generated 1.16 billion impressions.
TaskForce is a group of artists, strategists, organizers, and dreamers working at the intersection of arts and social justice to make lasting change. It is a cultural agency founded in 2010 that understands the role that creative culture plays in shaping public opinion and thus policy. TaskForce reaches audiences, organizes communities and helps them understand their power in shaping outcomes. It inspires them to get involved and take action.
Into Action Lab is an organic content generation machine from Taskforce. Into Action Lab has the largest creator of organic content by both volume and views, with a focus on civic engagement, progressive issues and candidates, and election protection. It has created over 10,000 GIFs, stickers and memes on a wide range of progressive topics. It provides culturally informed content that coalitions, activists and influencers need to shape public narratives.
GIFs are primarily found through ‘searches’ on all major social platforms. IntoAction Lab currently win 932 search results and for key results like “voting” it is over 50% of the top 50 results. It produced many of the GIFs behind DemCast's "For The People Act' social media campaign.
Yosi Sergant has worked in community organizing and applies art, music and culture into his work. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, he engaged artists from across the globe in a vast viral movement in support of Barack Obama, including the "HOPE" campaign he managed with artist Shepard Fairey. Yosi launched TaskForce, a pro-social media and marketing outfit to engage leaders of the creative community in strategic initiatives in the public interest.
Using volunteers as social media influencers
Social Media amplification
DemCast shares GIFs from Into Action and other sources with its volunteers who share those messages with their friends and also post to their social media pages. DemCast is piloting VoteForce, a free app that allows them to selectively share content with volunteers based on their location and interests. Volunteers receive are alerted through the VoteForce App when new content is available and share it with their friends by text, WhatsApp, Instagram or Facebook Messenger.