The run-up to the US presidential election set for later this year has produced a marked change in the way that politicians reach out to potential voters. With traditional marketing strategies such as television campaigns being eschewed in favour of more modern techniques, social media is really coming into its own.
Around this time, it is typical that our news feeds are awash with political slogans and views on both sides of the fence, but this time around, a lot more people are getting involved.
According to Gretchen Littlefield, President of Infogroup Media Solutions, the use of social media such as Twitter is not just to “broadcast messages” but also “build excitement” and invoke hype around a campaign. The idea of people sharing these news stories is something that doesn’t tend to happen with television advertising.
The current trail of thought is that social media could actually turn out to be one of the deciding factors in the upcoming election, with Littlefield suggesting: that “if candidates haven’t built up a strong or engaging enough social presence, they will miss out on the votes they need.” This is because everyone is turning their attention to what is being said on social media, using this platform to “make election decisions.”
Data garnered from social media can also help to influence future policy, and it certainly contributes to what is said on the campaign trail. Data-driven strategies for marketing appears to be the “in thing” right now, allowing candidates to target certain demographics on the basis of trends that play out on social media.
The idea of utilising social media to influence as many potential voters as possible is not that new, and many will remember the efforts that US President Barack Obama made to capture those on social media platforms for his successful election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. However, the game has certainly evolved since that point.
Social media has already changed the way we all receive content globally, so it should be no surprise to see this emerging trend continuing along this path.