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Social Media Marketing Lessons from the US Presidential Campaign

Obama gave his last State of the Union this week. As his 8-year tenure enters its final year, the candidates vying to replace him are beginning to cross swords and even draw blood. Early voting states start casting ballots in less than a month. With so many users getting their news and information from social media, it’s no surprise that every major campaign has a big focus on getting their social media right.

Social Media Campaign Staff

In this election, social media contributors have become as important as those who manage the “get out the vote” effort for presidential elections. Twitter accounts are being archived and reviewed by opposition researchers looking for an edge in tight primary votes. The simple mistype of a keyboard can cost thousands of votes.

Quality content that gets shared and echoed out by followers to their friends is worth untold amounts of paid advertising. In some markets, 25% of tv ads are political right now. With that kind of money being thrown around, the smaller campaigns have to leverage social media to inspire, excited and convert voters to their cause.

Just as President Obama (or more likely one of his staffers) decided to start a White House Snapchat account, presidential candidates are hiring major firms to help bolster their social media prowess. The Clinton campaign alone has 5 high-profile digital media titans. From a former Google executive to a Former VP of Digital Engagement at EMILY’S List.

Twitter vs. Facebook

Conversions are everything in the presidential race. Where can you put your message out, and what should your message include in order to get your followers to click on the link and share it with their friends? In this campaign cycle, there has been a showdown between Twitter and Facebook.

Both have been heavily utilized by campaigns to deliver exceptional traffic to their associated sites and content. The winner so far, according to some of the same data that companies like CTO of searchmetrics provide to their clients, is Twitter. Twitter campaign posts are garnering more attention and delivering a significantly higher percentage of traffic to presidential campaign sites.

This has been especially true for Donald Trump, who has managed to absolutely decimate the news cycle in America with well-timed Tweets and inflammatory statements.

YouTube Campaign Channels

But just because Facebook and Twitter are garnering a ton of attention as social media sites, don’t forget about YouTube. Videos associated with presidential candidates are blowing away simpler social media posts. After all, many of the best Facebook and Twitter posts include a video to convey a candidate’s message to voters.

There are few things better for conveying complex ideas and the personalities behind the candidates than a YouTube video. Better than a paid TV spot, it doesn’t cost campaigns to have their information viewed by motivated voters. Even better, in some cases candidates are being compensated by YouTube for their content as it drives traffic to monetized videos.

Can you say win-win?

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