“But this time, I brought some backup,” she said.
Celebrities, athletes, models and TikTokers alike are helping groups such as When We All Vote, Rock the Vote and NextGen America engage with communities of potential new voters online.
Myrick has already started taking such steps. In her Instagram story on Wednesday, she told her followers to swipe up — she had linked to When We All Vote’s Voter Resources Hub, a site where people can register to vote and request mail-in ballots.
Myrick also posted a story in Spanish, encouraging her Spanish-speaking followers to do the same.
“We have to meet people where they are, and influencers and micro-influencers have mastered that authentically. They are trusted messengers, and the content they share with their communities resonates. By partnering with them to spread the message about voting, we can reach people who may not respond to our traditional outreach, and target our outreach to people who have historically been underrepresented in our elections, including young people and people of color,” Crystal Carson, vice president of culture, communications and media partnerships at When We All Vote, told CNN.
When We All Vote is also partnering with Community, a platform that enables celebrities to text fans, to drum up enthusiasm for voter registration. The Jonas Brothers and Amy Schumer, as well as When We All Vote co-chairs Kerry Washington and Liza Koshy, have sent text messages to fans on their 18th birthdays to encourage them to register to vote.
Koshy often shares messages about voting with her 18.6 million Instagram followers. Obama recently shared a vote-by-mail explainer led by Koshy with her 41.9 million followers on her own Instagram account.
Obama and When We All Vote are not alone in tapping into the power of influencers.
Rock the Vote worked with more than 30 unpaid influencers who posted mostly on Instagram about registering to vote. In addition, the group hosted virtual voter registration events with celebrities including actress Rosario Dawson, actress Logan Browning, singer Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas, as well as a celebration of the 19th Amendment that featured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, actress and activist Alyssa Milano, activist Cecile Richards and actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld.
“In order to reach and turn out young voters, we have to meet them where they are. Young voters consume a lot of information, but as a whole they don’t do it through traditional platforms like cable news. Influencers have real power to engage millions of young people around this election for two main reasons: In most cases they are young people themselves, so they have a unique ability to connect, and they exist on the platforms that Gen Z uses every hour of the day,” Carolyn DeWitt, President of Rock the Vote, told CNN.
Still, NextGen America, the progressive youth voter engagement organization founded by businessman Tom Steyer, says it has been using influencers for almost two years to engage with people ages 18-35.
While NextGen has paid some influencers, Greven said, the organization has found that the majority of its influencers don’t want to be paid because they believe in NextGen’s mission of getting young people politically engaged.
“We’ve actually found content that wasn’t paid for seems to have higher engagement,” Greven added.
Ysiad Ferreiras, who took over as Bigtent’s CEO last month, said the goal is “to channel funds to young people — particularly young people of color — so they can organize their own communities and have self-determination.”