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Steyer Spends the Most, but Only Yang and Gabbard Focus Facebook Advertising on New Hampshire

Steyer Spends the Most, but Only Yang and Gabbard Focus Facebook Advertising on New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidates care a lot about the New Hampshire primary, but they only targeted 2.6 percent of their total Facebook ad spending at New Hampshire in the last quarter of 2019 according to data compiled by Booster Media, Inc. Among Democratic Primary candidates, Tom Steyer easily spent the most over this time period with $445,873 spent on Facebook ads targeted at Granite Staters—but that amounted to less than 5 percent of his total Facebook spending. Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard were more focused on the state with 16 percent and 24 percent of their spending aimed at New Hampshire, but in dollar terms ($107,401 and $72,588) they trailed both Steyer and Pete Buttigieg ($143,571). Booster Media also provided data on Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, both of whom are spending less than one percent of their total Facebook ad budget in New Hampshire. These data do not mean any of these, or the other, candidates are not focused on New Hampshire, but it may suggest that they are utilizing methods other than Facebook ads to reach Granite State voters.

SOURCE University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy

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Booster Launches New Political Crowdfunding Software

Booster Launches New Political Crowdfunding Software

Barack Obama was the first candidate to leverage social media to great effect in his 2008 campaign for president, revolutionizing the way politicians advertise to voters. By the 2016 presidential election, the practice had become so popular that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent a combined total of $81 million on Facebook ads alone.

It didn’t take long for us to find out just how powerful political advertising on social media is, but the 2016 election exposed the complexities associated with it — including the spread of fake news and malicious influence from other countries.

“The 2016 election really drew me in. I guess you could say I was triggered by not just the outcome but by this reality that social media — this thing I participated in and helped build — was really manipulated,” said Jamie Tedford, a social media pioneer and Boston native.

He felt that the voices of average Americans — the “real voices” — weren’t being heard. So, he started Booster, a crowdfunding platform that allows anybody to “boost” (conduct an ad buy for) any political social media post. The software’s launch was announced yesterday.

Boosting has become an important part of the social media landscape because it significantly increases the number of eyeballs on any given post. It’s much more powerful than simply sharing or retweeting something.

“Unless you have, you know, 10,000 followers on Twitter, you’re sort of screaming into the wind. If you share something that seems really important to you without an audience, there’s just not a whole lot of impact,” Tedford said. “Sharing is caring, but boosting is better.”

Tedford designed Booster with the guidance of some private investors and an advisory board of several respected Democratic strategists, including MSNBC contributor and former communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Adrienne Elrod, and author Minyon Moore, who was recognized as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.”

Booster was designed for ease of use. When a user comes across a political advertisement on Facebook or Instagram they find important, all they have to do is link Booster to their social media account, give a small amount of money to boost the ad (through payment processor, Stripe) and post it. Like other online fundraising sites, Booster makes its money by charging a small fee for each transaction.

While the money used to boost the ad is technically earmarked for that given political ad, Tedford says it is treated like any other cash donation. That money goes directly into a given candidate’s bank account and can impact other aspects of a campaign, like who qualifies for debates, for example.

To mitigate the spreading of fake news or ads manufactured by other countries, Booster is in coordination with efforts social media platforms have made to correct the weaknesses revealed in 2016. While Twitter outright banned political advertising, Facebook created a fairly stringent verification system to ensure the authenticity of an advertiser.

“Our safeguards are really the safeguards that the platforms create,” Tedford said. “Once they’re authorized to run ads, they authorize us to effectively manage the ad process in conjunction with people on their team.”

Booster is also home to the 2020 Presidential Spend Tracker, which delivers quarterly reports on how much money presidential candidates are spending on social media. The tool also monitors dollars spent targeting specific genders, ages and geographic locations. The information is meant for both curious constituents and politicians themselves.

“Say Trump is spending X in these areas, if you’re going to compete with that, let us help you think about how you increase your digital spend and do it in conjunction with your biggest advocates,” Tedford said.

Booster is based out of Boston and has offices in New York and Washington D.C. Essentially all of the company’s efforts are spent looking at the 2020 presidential race, but Tedford predicts this software has applications beyond politics.

“It really could lead to this whole new, very tangible way of advocating for things you care about,” Tedford said. “Everything you support. Every candidate, every small business, every influencer, every bit of music. If you have the power to help get them more exposure — which almost everyone needs and wants — then you could imagine this micropayment platform that allows you to do just that.”

SOURCE BUILT IN BOSTON

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Political Crowdfunding Startup Launches From Stealth

Political Crowdfunding Startup Launches From Stealth

The 2020 Iowa Democratic primary caucuses are less than two months away. One Boston startup is ready to capitalize on the political mayhem.

Booster, a software company that enables political campaigns to crowdfund their social media advertising efforts, launched from stealth on Tuesday. Based in Boston, with offices in New York and Washington, the startup allows individuals to make small-dollar contributions specifically to let campaigns “boost” political ads on Facebook. Boosted ads have a stronger chance of appearing on users’ News Feeds.

According to a statement, the startup uses the payment processor Stripe to manage transactions and has API integrations with the Facebook platform to automate and optimize media investment.

Booster’s team has also created what it calls the “2020 Social Spend Presidential Tracker,” a tool that shows spending trends on a weekly basis.

Booster is headed up by Jamie Tedford, who was the CEO and co-founder of Brand Networks. That company offers tools for brands to market themselves on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Joining Tedford on the executive team are chief technology officer Mike Garsin, who co-founded Brand Networks with Tedford, and chief commercial officer Aaron Earls, an experienced political operative and co-founder of New Media Strategies.

“As veterans from the social advertising industry, we set out to empower the American people with the same tools and expertise that big companies use to invest media dollars behind content on Facebook,” Tedford said in the statement. “Booster is on a mission to democratize social media influence; giving people a new ‘superpower’ to cast votes everyday with their wallet and digital devices.”

Booster counts several experienced political operatives on its advisory board, including Dewey Square Group’s Charles Baker III and former director of strategic communications for Hillary Clinton 2016 Adrienne Elrod.

Personally, Tedford said in an interview with BostInno that he was soured by the influence of social media on the 2016 presidential election.

“I recognized that social media could be used for evil,” he said.

Tedford wanted to make a direct impact on social media’s use for political movement. Instead of writing a check to a candidate’s general fund, users of Booster give money directly to boost a specific post on Facebook. It’s a chance for individuals to get involved in politics on a more personal level—and for Booster to potentially become an “antidote to fake news,” Tedford said.

I asked Tedford what he thought about Facebook’s decision to allow political ads that include false information. As recently as last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended that stance, telling reporters, “What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments.”

Tedford acknowledges that his startup relies on Facebook, but he has faith in the social media giant’s commitment to transparency.

“I think Facebook has done a pretty incredible job, if you look at their Transparency [Report] and the guardrails they’ve put around political advertising,” Tedford said.

Tedford said Booster also plans to branch out to other social media platforms, including Snapchat, whose political advertising platform has had an increasing influence. (Unlike Facebook, Snapchat fact-checks political ads that appear on the app.)

So far, Booster has financial support from a handful of private investors. The startup conducted a soft launch in the runup to the 2018 midterms with a handful of congressional candidates, political action committees and nonprofits. It has gained early traction with 2020 presidential candidates, including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, according to the statement. Tedford said Booster plans to announce another candidate using the startup as early as next week.

“Booster puts the power to elevate candidates and causes in the hands of the American people, while also increasing small dollar donations,” Earls said in the statement. “Booster gives supporters visibility into the real time impact of their donation, representing a sea change in politics and issue advocacy.”

Correction: This article originally stated that Charles Baker III was the father of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. While Gov. Baker’s father is also named Charles Baker III, they are different people. We regret the error.

SOURCE BOSTINNO

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Social Media Vets Launch Booster, Political Crowdfunding Venture

Social Media Vets Launch Booster, Political Crowdfunding Venture

BOSTONDec. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Social media pioneer, investor and entrepreneur Jamie Tedford announces the launch of Booster (www.getbooster.co) a software company that enables political campaigns to crowdfund their social media advertising efforts.  Political and issue advertisers that have been certified by Facebook can now invite their supporters to make small dollar donations to "boost" specific posts. Booster processes these donations and deploys them to targeted media investments increasing the reach and impact of key messages on social media.

Tedford has bootstrapped the new venture with support from select private investors and guidance from a blue chip Advisory Board that includes respected Democratic strategists and operatives Charles Baker III, President of Dewey Square Group, and Nick Baldick, Founder Hilltop Public Solutions, a thought leader and communications expert, Adrienne Elrod, MSNBC contributor and Former Director of Strategic Communications for Hillary Clinton 2016, and Minyon Moore, who was recognized as one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in Washington" and recently published the widely acclaimed book "For Colored Girls Who Considered Politics."

Mike Garsin, who co-founded the leading cross-channel digital advertising firm Brand Networks with Tedford, joins Booster as CTO.  Experienced political operative and entrepreneur/co-founder of New Media Strategies (acquired by Meredith Corp) Aaron Earls is Chief Commercial Officer. "As veterans from the social advertising industry, we set out to empower the American people with the same tools and expertise that big companies use to invest media dollars behind content on Facebook," said Tedford, Booster's Founder & CEO.  "Booster is on a mission to democratize social media influence; giving people a new "superpower" to cast votes everyday with their wallet and digital devices."

As the 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaigns focus attention and media budgets on early state voting in IowaNew HampshireNevada and South Carolina, quickly followed by Super Tuesday, Booster's entry is well timed to help Candidates amplify messages at key times to targeted audiences.

"As distilled in our weekly 2020 Social Spend Presidential Tracker, social media plays a fundamental role in every element of a political campaign from fundraising, persuasion messaging and rapid response, to event building and ultimately to get-out-the-vote," according to Aaron Earls, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer.  "Booster puts the power to elevate candidates and causes in the hands of the American people, while also increasing small dollar donations. Booster gives supporters visibility into the real time impact of their donation, representing a sea change in politics and issue advocacy."

Like other online fundraising technology, Booster makes money by charging a small fee for each transaction or "boost."  Unique to Booster is the transparent earmarking and automated deployment of donor funds to incremental paid media delivering increased reach and providing donors and campaigns with visibility to the impact of each boost.

"We have purpose-built the platform on top of best in-class, enterprise technology," says Mike Garsin, Co-Founder and CTO of Booster.  "Booster leverages industry-leading payment processing and security platform Stripe to manage secure transactions and has API integrations with the Facebook platform to automate and optimize media investment at the Post level."

About Booster

Booster (www.getbooster.cowas funded by private investors and founded by three entrepreneurs with a shared mission to democratize social media influence. Booster soft launched with a handful of Congressional Candidates, PAC's and Non-Profit clients in the run up to the 2018 mid-term elections. Booster's early traction with 2020 Presidential Candidates including Governor Bullock, led to incremental private investment, establishment of an experienced Advisory Board, and incorporation as a Public Benefit Corporation (B-Corp Certification pending) in early 2019. Today the company, based in Boston with offices in New York, and Washington, DC is staffing-up to support national political and issue based campaigns.

Press Contact:
Jackie Lucas
Vera Voce Communication
978-255-1159
230895@email4pr.com

SOURCE Booster Media, Inc.