Insiders say social media is key to getting young vote

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By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOX) - Young people have been marching in the streets on a scale not seen since the 1960s.  Will they use that energy to walk up to the polls and vote?

Experts tell KMOX, they may not unless candidates and parties reach out to young voters through the right channels.

"You can't campaign the same way," explains Jean Evans, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party.  "A lot of people, particularly under 30, don't have television or cable TV.  They receive information differently, a lot of it through social media." 

The top platforms for younger people include Instagram and TikTok.  Evans points out, because many people in their 20's and 30's don't use traditional news sources as much as older age groups it's a bigger challenge for state and local candidates.

Emma Meshell, spokeswoman for Young Americans for Liberty, says some candidates have learned to use social media to their advantage.  She says whether or not you agree with her ideas,  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a prime example of someone who knows how to reach her constituents, "She's so charismatic.  She has such a way with talking to these young people.  She talks to them through Instagram and social media." 

Meshell says the best users of social media find ways get young people excited about policy, through memes, threads and trending topics. 

Because some of the most popular social media platforms have limited space for links and text, Meshell says the most savvy posts have been using infographics to get their message across.  She warns candidates, they have to be authentic with potential younger voters, "they can sniff out an amateur right away."

Many young people are expressing frustration.  What could keep them from casting their votes?

KMOX wraps up our reports on young voters Friday.

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