On TikTok, knitting, rapping and promoting the child tax credit

His goal is to reach young voters of color, a notoriously hard-to-reach demographic that tends to shy away from politics. For Democrats, they are an important but fickle constituency. President Biden remains particularly unpopular among younger voters of color, who gravitated toward his more left-leaning opponents in the 2020 presidential primaries. It is this constituency that has consistently expressed displeasure with his presidency in the surveys

Both strategists are themselves young people of color: Macdonald, the creative director of Community Change Action, is a 28-year-old of Japanese and Scottish descent, while Narayanan, founder and CEO of Social Currant, is Indian-American who graduated from college in the spring. Only recently was it legally allowed to buy alcohol.

Narayanan’s company, which he founded a little over a year ago, bills itself as “a youth-driven next-generation emerging media agency.” More simply, it specializes in connecting nonprofit groups with influencers on TikTok, Instagram (focusing on its TikTok-like Reels video feature) and other social media platforms. Community Change Action, a nonprofit that seeks to mobilize low-income voters of color to progressive causes, is one of its clients.

To measure the success of their idea, Macdonald and Narayanan organized a 48-hour exercise in June 2021, tying their efforts to a White House push involving the child tax credit.

Their goal, they said, was to find out if they could get 100,000 views on TikTok for videos on the topic. So Narayanan scoured the platform for plausible influencers who could be suitable messengers, and settled on a group of 15.

To his surprise, the videos generated 400,000 views and 1,000 clicks on Community Change Action’s page explaining the child tax credit in more depth and asking people to urge Congress to keep the policy in place.

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