• Trump’s digital director used Facebook to reach individual voters

    ​The digital director for​ ​Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said he used Facebook ​to reach individual voters, and the social media giant even embedded employees with him to help ​fine-tune the messaging technology.​

    “I understood early that Facebook was how Donald Trump was going to win. Twitter is how he talked to the people, Facebook was going to be how he won,” ​Brad Parscale told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired on Sunday.

    Parscale, with the help of Facebook and Twitter employees, put out thousands of ads a day that allowed the campaign to target potential voters in ways conventional political advertising never could.

    ​”​We did them on Twitter, Google search, other platforms. Facebook was the 500-pound gorilla, 80​ percent of the budget kind​ of​ thing​,” he said. “​So Facebook now lets you get to places and places possibly that you would never go with TV ads​. Now, I can find, you know, 15 people in the Florida Panhandle that I would never buy a TV commercial for. And we took opportunities that I think the other side didn’t.​”​

    Parscale, who never worked on an election campaign before Trump’s, said he interviewed the employees to ensure he was getting people who were sympathetic to candidate Trump’s conservative views.

    ​”I wanted people who support Donald Trump from their companies​,” he said, adding that the workers usually separated themselves into Republicans and Democrats.

    ​Parscale said the Hillary Clinton campaign also received an offer from Facebook to embed employees but turned it down.

    The Facebook technology allowed him and the Trump campaign to reach millions of people with as many as 100,000 ads daily that the team would alter slightly to make them more attractive to individual voters.

    “Changing language, words, colors, changing things because certain people like a green button better than a blue button. Some people like the word ‘donate’ or ‘contribute,'” he said. “Here we have an American flag, here we have a face of Hillary. Different colors, the blues, different messages above.”

    For instance, the campaign learned that Rust Belt voters were interested in infrastructure, fearing their highways and bridges were falling apart.

    “They felt like the world was crumbling. So I started making ads that would show the bridge crumbling​,” he said​. ​”​You know, that’s micro-targeting them. Because I can find the 1,500 people in one town that care about infrastructure. Now, that might be a voter that normally votes Democrat.​”​

    D​espite the hands-on efforts to reach voters, Parscale called allegations that the campaign colluded with the Russians during the election “a joke.”

    ​”I would not want a foreign entity to meddle in our election; you know, a government. Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t want that; I’m American​,” he said. ​

    ​He also said he had no connection to the pro-Trump tweets generated by bots during the election. ​ ​Facebook has confirmed that Russian-linked agencies bought at least $100,000 ads to influence the 2016 election and has turned ​over 3,000 of them to congressional panels investigating the Kremlin’s involvement.

    Parscale, who is already working for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, said he has been contacted by the House Intelligence Committee and has agreed to appear at a hearing.

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