Posted by: LGD Communications on February 6, 2012
Social media marketing techniques are having increased influence on the 2012 political campaigns. More than ever, voters are using social media to directly interact with candidates, and visa versa. This new frontier for the political landscape has allowed parties to tailor their messages to specific audiences, as well as receive real-time feedback from their constituents. The large amount of demographic information these sites provide on voters has given way to monumentally increased media attention.
Candidates tap mobile to bolster fundraising
Recently, President Obama’s re-election campaign announced that it plans to use a mobile-device credit card app Square to accept campaign donations. Other candidates will test similar payment methods, which could potentially bring in countless micro-donations. It will be interesting to see if voters will be more likely to donate to a political campaign through services like Square, and how it will affect the political fundraising spectrum.
A new way to reach voters and donors
Not only is this the first national election to make use of digital-transfer of contributions, but also the first to feature all-digital interviews with candidates via Google+ hangouts. This kind of digital engagement has brought the candidates directly into the homes of thousands of Americans in an intimate, cost-effective method.
President Obama leads the candidates in social media engagement with over 24 million Facebook likes and more than 12 million followers on Twitter. Newt Gingrich follows with 1.4 million Twitter followers, Mitt Romney with 308,000 and Ron Paul with 221,400. The question of whether these followers are actually real is still up for debate.
However, social media’s reach is indeed amplifying the political conversation. According to Blogger Jon Russell, in just 95 minutes, President Obama’s State of the Union address generated 766,681 tweets. That’s powerful. Alongside this State of the Union activity, President Obama’s team kept the tweets flowing from his personal twitter account(@BarackObama) while periodically releasing key sound bites.
Newt Gingrich has attempted to create a trending topic on Twitter by use of a sponsored tweet directly attacking “Obamneycare.” A photo reading “This person opposes Obamneycare” was posted on Gingrich’s Facebook account, with a specific request for supporters to share the photo on their individual accounts. It has been shared 3,000 times, with the number steadily rising.
With about 82 percent of all adults receiving most of their election news online, I expect social media to continue to act as a vital platform for political discussion. There’s still time for both parties to experiment with new technology platforms for outreach, fundraising and to mobilize action as the 2012 election begins to kick into high gear.
What do you think? Will it make a difference in the outcome of the political race which candidate is the most tech-savvy and can reach the most people via social media?
LGD Communications provides clients with dynamic, creative and strategic marketing services across all media platforms. Contact President & Chief Creative Officer Len Dugow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (305) 576-9400 for a free consultation to discover how LGD Communications can develop and improve your business in our endlessly evolving media-centric world.