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Dream election turnout with help from UnionCloud

Friday 31-03-2017 - 11:06

Liverpool Guild of Students saw a record number of votes in this years’ round of Student Officer Elections. 

Pulling in just over 6200 votes - a total of 27 per cent of its student population – the Guild secured the fourth highest number of votes of any UnionCloud users.

Better managed data, creative social media and a clever use of dynamic groups are just some of the keys to its elections success.

Sian McGreary, Director of Marketing at Liverpool Guild of Students, tells us more about how they achieved their biggest ever voter turnout. 

“When it comes to elections, understanding the possibilities which lie in the UnionCloud is crucial – and our journey with the system has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. We’ve now developed a process which makes sure our data is as clean as it possibly can be, and are currently looking to open up conversations with the University about starting a live data feed, which would make the process even smoother.

“We also spent time understanding how students navigate around our website, learning from feedback over the past few years and this has helped us smooth out the process and remove any difficulties.  As soon as students signed in, we made sure they were redirected to the ballot page. Quick wins including a large ‘Vote Now’ banner on the homepage also helped to steer traffic to the ballot page and make securing votes as easy as possible. Our ‘how to vote’ checklist also gave that extra bit of support to our candidates as they campaigned, and to those students who faced any issues.

“Preparing students for the Elections is another important factor, so we make sure our members are introduced to the voting system well in advance by giving them the option to vote in other forms of online democracy beforehand, such as preferendums, Society Committee and Halls Student Committee elections. This has really helped to make sure students are comfortable when they engage with the voter process.

“This year we paid particular attention to the content we sent out by email. We tailored the text included in the fast track email, and made good use of dynamic groups in UnionCloud so we could target messages and students more directly - sending specific messages to societies, and issuing reminder emails to those who had not voted at points when activity slowed down.  This was supported by engaging and timely content on our social channels – which kicked off first thing on the Monday morning of Elections with a Facebook Live video of our excited candidates.

“From an internal point of view, we used the Dashboard to keep staff updated and to brief the candidates each morning. We know there’s even more we can do with this – so next year, we plan to delve deeper and use it to engage students by department, which we hope will improve voter turnout even more so.

“And last but by no means least, we cannot forget just how big a role our candidates played in our voter success. There was a huge buzz around the elections this year in particular, and that’s thanks to each and every one of their creative campaigning tactics. It was really exciting to see our votes climb more than ever before - and it’s testament to their hard work, too".

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