By Casey Danton
The presidential race has veered off of the campaign trail and onto the internet with social media marketing. 16% of registered voters follow candidates in office, political parties, or elected officials on a social networking site, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2014. Today, we can assume even more voters are following those in office.
Millennials overall are more likely than older generations to get political news through social media. Democrats and Democratic-leaning Millennials are far more likely than Republican and Republican-leaning Millennials to learn about elections via social media, meaning that many are abuzz online. Not surprisingly, Facebook is the most common social networking site for learning about the election among U.S. adults overall.
How are those in the running for president using social media to reach the masses and what can those who work at a social media agency learn from campaigning successes and failures to apply to a brand perspective?
Hailed as one of the most creative political campaign hashtags to date, this tag is credited with keeping a large conversation going and boosting Bernie’s recognition. From tattoos to memes, to t-shirts many supporters are feeling the Bern, and jumping into the conversation.
What we learned: Finding the perfect hashtag to represent your brand or latest giveaway is an art! Don’t just slap together a long hashtag with descriptors or come up with something nonsensical. Red Bull’s Shorty Award winner #PutACanOnIt is a perfect example of how a hashtag can become something big, bold, and creative!
Facebook Ads for Rallies
In March of 2016, a last-minute rally was held in Los Angeles for Sanders. Using Facebook, email blasts, and text messaging, Sanders social media team was able to organize thousands of supporters to attend. The free tickets were all reserved in a few hours and those who couldn’t get in waited outside the venue with hopes of crashing.
What we learned: Employing Facebook ads last minute or in a targeted way can really pay off. Next time you need a handful of contest entries to hit your brand goal, or more ticket sales for a sponsored event, rev up some well-done ads and get them out to the right people!
Carly Fiorina on Periscope
Carly Fiorina embraced newer social media as she made a run for the white house. The week she announced her candidacy she turned to Periscope to connect in a more direct way with voters.
What we learned: Embracing and experimenting with the fast-paced world of social pays off! Your brand will become more established with a wider network of channels and have a direct line to your consumers.
Trump’s Large Following
While some candidates may come out of nowhere, Trump was already a household name when he began his campaign. He was able to use his massive social media following to get out his ideas and speak to a larger online audience than other candidates.
What we learned: Bolstering and growing your audience so your message falls on more ears and eyes is a great technique. Don’t discount running ads to gain followers on social, especially by targeting those who may already be interested in your brand or product.
Captiv8 ran a nine-month study measuring the number of followers that candidates had on IG, Facebook, and Twitter to find which candidate was the most engaging. While Trump and Clinton had more followers across platforms, Sanders consistently had the most engaged audience. Captiv8 reasoned that this is due to Sanders authentic nature and stick-to-your-guns attitude.
What we learned: Most consumers already know that a brand is there to sell and represent themselves. Staying authentic to the brand and to your followers is always best. There is an added bonus if your brand has a part of your strategy that ties into philanthropy to show you care about giving back.
Back when there were more political contenders in October of 2015, Grammarly released a study identifying grammar and spelling mistakes of those following presidential hopefuls. Grammarly studied a minimum of 180 comments made by supporters on each candidate’s Facebook page that included at least 15 words or more. While this was a win for Grammarly, it was a loss for those candidates who’s followers weren’t as up to snuff in their spelling and grammar such as Donald Trump and Rick Santorum supporters.
What we learned: Never discount how important your copy writers are! Grammar and spelling are clearly important, especially to wide audiences. A 2013 Disruptive Communications survey asked consumers what was most likely to damage their opinion of a brand on social media. 42.5% reported poor spelling or grammar was the top offender while posts being too ‘salesy’ came in second at 24.9%
You don’t have to be a political pundit to pick up social media strategy from the 2016 candidates. If you learned something new from this blog, share this post using the icons below or to the left. Share your thoughts with the Likeable Media team in the comments below!