Vsnap is now being used in a few of America’s highest-profile political races, and we thought it would be interesting to tell you a little about how. To be clear, we don’t actually see the vsnaps that people send via email. Those are private messages. But we do reach out to many of our new users to see if we can be helpful, which often sparks great conversations. In this case, we talked with the campaigns of candidates from both political parties. Here’s a snapshot of what we learned.
One thing that’s interesting is how they’re not using Vsnap. As far as we can tell, the candidates themselves are not sending large numbers of vsnaps. I predict that this will change because these individuals have a deep need to communicate their authenticity, and there is no format that does this better than a vsnap. It’s free of all the manipulative stuff that cynical spin-masters love. There’s no swelling score, no quick cuts, no sonorous voice-over. Just the person and a camera and 60 seconds.
(This is why it’s also not so sweet for old-school interruption marketers – and why it is amazing for all kinds of people who understand the power that comes from simply sharing their beliefs.)
Another thing the campaigns are not doing is vsnapping voters. This might be because it’s still early. That’ll probably come later, and hopefully it’ll happen in a way that captures the application’s full power. Generally that means not using it to do blasts, but rather using it like the video version of a handwritten note. It’s not hard to imagine college students sending vsnaps to their friends about why they believe in Candidate XYZ, and attaching links to donation forms or volunteer sign-up pages.
But that’s all in the future. For now, the political uses that we know about have been behind the scenes. In one Senate race, for example, Town Captains were using Vsnap to engage volunteers for phone banks and door-knocking efforts. They loved that it’s easy for recipients to forward the vsnap on and share it with their social networks.
In the Presidential race, one campaign’s staff has been taking the time to send vsnaps to individual volunteers to thank them for their time and their energy. When people aren’t getting paid, it’s powerful to take a moment to recognize their contributions and to make them feel special.
As you might expect, Vsnap is also being used to engage donors and to drive traffic to fund-raising events. But again, this is not about a canned message from the candidate. That’s the old way. Anyone who wants to get elected today knows they must take advantage of tools that allow one passionate believer to easily and compellingly share his or her belief with another voter, and to do that in a format that can capture and convey their conviction.
Note: I am intentionally omitting the names of the campaigns using Vsnap because I think it’s important that this post does not read as any sort of implied endorsement.