Michael Coudrey is an American entrepreneur, investor, and speaker who runs YukoSocial, a political social media firm specializing in ‘information warfare’ and digital media. Their client list boasts current US Representatives, large-scale political figures, candidate-hopefuls and political organizations. We sat down with the LA native to discuss his growing political social media powerhouse.
1. If there is any advice you could offer young entrepreneurs looking to get started in this space, what would it be?
Have a plan, and execute it. Too many people are trapped by the confines they set on themselves, never accomplishing anything of significance because they are stuck in the same mental space as last year. You need to dream big, educate yourself, and have the ability to put your plan in action. If you want to start a marketing or social media firm, you should know how to manipulate the algorithms to rank higher, you should know how to rapidly build followers, you should know how to create interactive content and provide value for your clients. If you do not know, start learning. Then when you know how to effectively grow social media, learn how to solicit clients. Everything you ever wanted to know is accessible from your smart phone. Start today and never stop learning.
2. What inspired you to want to become a social media professional, especially one involved in politics?
I recognized that there was no current infrastructure established for politicians to create significant digital influence for themselves, and dominate in today’s digital information age. Having learned how to market effectively while accumulating over 250,000 combined followers on my personal accounts, I knew I could monetize and become a dominant player in this space. I also recognized that the current efforts could be improved significantly, and having the political resources and capital to effect change was undoubtedly motivating.
3. You worked with 7 congressional campaigns in 2018 (Congrats!). Who are your primary clients, and how did they find out about your firm?
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we are under NDA for a majority of our clients, but as far as how we got them… We employ a marketing approach to target individuals who appear to need our help. We check their FEC filings to see if they can afford us, and provide a value proposition. They agree and bring us on, and many also get referred from previous clients that are incredibly impressed with our work.
4. Your companies cleared over $1,000,000 this year, what do you do with the profits?
It’s the application of resources and knowledge that allows you to further your objectives and goals, and make significant strides that have global implications. I allocate them back into the business, I allocate them to effect change, and I allocate them to causes I care about on behalf of the American people. I don’t like to do charity, because the people will still be in the same circumstance when I leave. Instead I’d prefer to create an environment to change their circumstances. Give a man a fish or teach a man to fish, I’d choose the latter every time.
5. What type of services do you employ on behalf of your clients?
Full scale social media management including custom content curation, influencer marketing, brand-buildouts and political targeting. In politics, it is often the objective to expose your opposition and highlight their flaws, so we have a myriad of extremely effective ways to accomplish this for them. I can’t disclose in particular, but the sophistication and psychology in these efforts is unparalleled.
6. How does the influencer marketing work, being in politics?
It is important to note that political strategy firms only recently began incorporating these elements and functioning in these informational and distribution capacities. We have been accumulating resources and online influence since at least 2014, purchasing influencer accounts, meme accounts, and social/cultural news accounts since its inception. We now own a large market share of these accounts, and we utilize them to serve as digital information distributors, recognizing there is great power in the ability to distribute information rapidly across the internet.
7. What is the total combined reach of all the accounts under your management or you are in partnership with?
We have been accumulating partnerships and purchasing accounts since our inception. Our current total social media reach is roughly 216M total social media users, with roughly 1.3 billion global impressions per month. By owning or partnering with these large and influential accounts, it gives us the ability to rapidly distribute information across the internet, often being able to shape public opinion or advocate for causes (or political figures) we care about.
8. So what exactly do you do with this influence, or how does it work?
Most of our accounts are in partnerships, so we hold them on retainer. When we receive a new client that would like to advertise and promote their brand, candidate, company, ideology or policy initiative, we will create advertisements in the form of memes or other interactive content, tailored for that particular audience, that we distribute through our network of accounts. We craft the content in a way that positively shapes public opinion for them. This is the new form of digital media, and in essence we do function as a “media company”, however we do not cover news or common events, we craft sentiments and public perception.
9. What are your future goals?
To effect everlasting change through business, politics and culture. To create a better society, to inspire, to allow the public to realize everything is within their reach.