It seems the only things in the news these days are stories about events, comments, and anything else surrounding the presidential candidates. Throughout the history of the United States, we have witnessed many different trends and strategies when it comes to how presidential candidates advocate for themselves. In 2015 and now 2016, a presidential campaign is absolutely nothing without social media and a strong digital marketing strategy. Through advancements in technology, the presidential race – among other important events – has become far more interactive than it was in the past. People of today watch the debates with their computers and phones by their side, turning to Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms to express dismay or support at every single quip. But voters aren’t the only ones relying on the Internet during the race, the candidates themselves are also integrating social media and other digital marketing strategies into their campaign – and in a major way. From creating public figure profiles on the various social media outlets and using it to spread their message and put down their opponent to turning to online outlets to raise money, the impact of digital media is real.
Why Embracing Social Media is a Must
According to a recent study, spending on social media is expected to exceed more than half of the $1 billion budget allotted for digital marketing. This is huge, as it indicates just how important social media is to the performance and popularity of a given presidential candidate. Like it or not, many Americans get their news from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and even Instagram. Gone are the days of tuning into the 5 o’clock news to find out what’s going on in the world; today’s society is all about accessing information at the swipe of a finger or the click of a button. This is why it is so important that presidential candidates take the time to focus on their digital strategy. Those that do are guaranteed to reach more people at a faster rate.
In both his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, President Obama embraced social media like no political figure has ever done before. In fact, Obama was the first president to successfully use social media to his advantage, and this is before it was as ubiquitous as it is today. On Reddit, Obama implemented an Ask Me Anything (AMA) strategy, which quickly became one of the most popular threads of all time.
Fast forward to this election year, we are seeing candidates going even further with their digital media strategy. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump all have Instagram and Snapchat accounts, allowing them to reach the growing number of voters who prefer these platforms. Clinton and Jeb Bush were actually the first candidates in history to announce their bid for the presidential nomination via Snapchat, which is a pretty good indicator of how important the digital arena has become to the presidential race.
According to a recent study from Ipsos Mori, social media has the potential to reach more 18 to 24 year olds than ever before. In fact, more than a third (34%) of those surveyed within this age group indicated that reading something on social media might actually influence their vote.
The Role of Millennials
We cannot look at the role of social media and digital marketing in the upcoming election without mentioning millennials. In order to reach the millennial demographic, candidates must consider the platforms they prefer and use when it comes to relaying information, gaining knowledge, and expressing their opinion. Enter: Social Media. Young adults of today are shifting more of their attention online to social networks, so it is no wonder that candidates are naturally incorporating social media into their campaigns in order to appeal to millennials.
As the race for presidential nomination continues, we expect spending on social media will only increase, as will the important role of digital media. To learn more about digital marketing, brand awareness, and why social media is so important for everyone from local businesses to presidential candidates, please contact Tech-Critic, Frisco’s leading digital marketing agency, today.