Use WhatsApp from your laptop to reach more Latino voters

5 mins read

Use WhatsApp from your laptop to reach more Latino voters

“47% of Hispanic adults are on WhatsApp – over twice as much as the general public.

Latinos are expected to make up 13.3 percent of all eligible voters and widely use WhatsApp. 56% of Hispanic WhatsApp users surveyed said they turn to social media daily as their source for news.” – Morning Consult

How can WhatsApp be used to reach thousands of voters? How can volunteers send messages with WhatsApp from their laptops? How can messages be customized to the recipient?

WhatsApp: ideal for voter outreach

“More than half of the US Hispanic population is estimated to use messaging WhatsApp at least monthly. The platform’s US Hispanic user base of 32 million is growing because of its data cost savings, messaging encryption capabilities and popularity in Latin American countries. Much of the platform’s popularity is driven by its high use in Latin American countries. Older US Hispanics who wish to communicate with friends and families in these countries can do so via the app. Younger people use the platform to stay in touch with relatives in the US and Latin America because of the easy-to-use interface.

WhatsApp offers Wi-Fi messaging that is free to recipient users and allows people to communicate while avoiding high texting fees. Because of this feature alone, the service has always had more room for growth than social media networks like Instagram or Twitter. While those platforms appeal largely to younger users, WhatsApp replaces texting via a carrier’s mobile data and is more likely to be used by smartphone users of all ages, as opposed to social media networks.” – eMarketer

WhatsApp penetration by race and ethnicity shows high adoption in the Hispanic community

WhatsApp on laptops sends more messages

Sending a large number of personalized messages on WhatsApp isn’t practical. That’s where the desktop version of WhatsApp comes in handy. Volunteers first connect their phones to their laptop and then send messages using their regular keyboard. They can then quickly create messages using cut-and-paste from campaign messages. You can use WhatsApp from the web using this link or you install WhatsApp on your laptop from these links:Install Whatsapp on MAC (ios) computersInstall WhatsApp on WINdows computers

Open WhatsApp on your phone, once you’ve installed the app on your laptop computer. Go into settings and choose “WhatsApp Web/Desktop”. You’ll be prompted to scan a QR code on your laptop computer screen with your phone like this. Once you’ve done that, you are good to go and start sending messages to voters.

How to synch WhatsApp on your phone with your laptop.

Sending customized messages to voters

Have volunteers send personalized messages to people in their phone book. The process is similar to how volunteers currently send text messages – choose recipient from phonebook, automatically generate a personalized message and send. WhatsApp sends an encrypted message from sender to recipient.

Say for instance, volunteers are sending out details on Arizona ID Requirements for Voting In Person (courtesy VoteRiders). The images are first uploaded to an online drive like Google DriveDropBox or Box. In this example, we uploaded two images that are to be sent out with WhatsApp. Recipients can save these images with their friends and also save them on their phones.

Arizona ID Requirements for Voting In Person
Image Link-1Link-2.

Volunteers can then use a DemLabs WhatsApp outreach app to send customized messages quickly to contacts through WhatsApp. They choose the person to contact, the message and hit send. WhatsApp does the rest.

How to send multiple customized messages out with WhatsApp to voters.

TakeAway: Fight voter suppression by using every available communication channel to reach voters. Use WhatsApp to reach Latino and other voters.


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Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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