How To Maximize Your Election Influence

Here’s What To Do Today And On Election Day

Tuesday is the most important election of your life, but voting is never enough. You can have a bigger impact by using social proof to increase your influence. I’ll tell you how, and it won’t take you long.


First, though, make sure nothing gets in the way of exercising your duty to vote.

Studies have shown that you are more likely to vote if you answer these questions before Election Day:

  1. Do you see yourself fulfilling your duty to vote? (Answer “Yes.” Write it down.)
  2. What time do you plan to vote? (Write it down.)
  3. Where will you be coming from? (Work, home, etc. Write it down.)
  4. What will you be doing immediately before you go to vote? (A meeting at work? Dropping the kids off at day care? Write it down.)

Have a friend who might not vote? Ask him these four questions, and he’s more likely than not to show up at the polls. But don’t ask these questions of friends if you don’t know they’ll vote right.

Immediately After Voting

Voting empowers you with remarkable influence and credibility. You’ll waste that power, though, if you don’t put it to work. Here’s what you need to do immediately after voting.

For each candidate or issue you support, tweet: “I just voted for [candidate] for [office]. [hashtag] #stltpc #election2012″

Examples:

I just voted for @MittRomney for President. #POTUS #stltpc #election2012

I just voted for @EdMartin4Mo for Attorney General. #MOAG #stltpc #election2012

I just voted No on Prop A. #PropANo #stltpc #election2012

Next, repeat the process on Facebook in a single post, but omit the hashtags. Studies show that twitter-style hashtags turn off Facebook users, making them less likely to Like, share, or comment.

Tell People You Voted

Finally, tell 3 people you voted and for whom. Check this out:

Even when we control for alternative sources of similar behavior, such as having the same income, education, ideology, or level of political interest, the typical subject is about 15 percent more likely to vote if one of his discussion partners votes [emphasis added].

Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2009-09-09). Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (p. 185). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.

You’ve just maximized the power of voting. Your influence will spread to at least 3 degrees of separation reaching hundreds or hundreds of thousands of people, depending on how connected your network is.