Social media marketing has become an essential method of campaigning for political office. During the U.S. presidential campaign in 2008, the Barack Obama campaign team had harnessed the power of social media advertising to achieve victory. This was a phenomenon at that time.
While it is not the only marketing component of any political campaign, social media is certainly a primary one. The reason it plays such a major role can be attributed to the following factors:
1. Better demographic targeting
2. Increased word of mouth (often argued to be the best form of advertising)
3. Greater cost effectiveness
4. A superior ability to generate hype
1 - Targeting Your Demographic Is Easy Online
Unlike conventional advertising in TV or Radio, Social media advertising can be highly targeted. Whereas television and radio may boast a high number of "impressions," these may be unlikely voters. On the web, targeting is much more concentrated and accurate. Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon advertising can be placed only in front of those who would be likely to vote for your candidate, statistically making these individuals more aware of your campaign.
The trick is to capture people when they are in the position to explore a topic. When consumers are web surfing, they are already in the "mode" to do so. TV and radio usually try to engage people when they are focused on a drive to work or watching a favorite television show with family.
People are more likely to really delve into the details of your candidate when they are online. And remember, they can press a "Like" button or join a mailing list, which ensures you will have their attention throughout the remainder of the campaign whenever they are online. This simply cannot be done with TV or radio.
2 - Social Media Marketing is One of the Most Effective Methods of Spreading the Word
Word of mouth is one of the most excellent ways to create a buzz. Social media facilitates that on a grand scale more rapidly than any other method. People are reached where they are comfortable, in a place where they are in a position to quickly show everyone they know where they stand about a candidate.
When a hot button issue comes up, your followers are going to link to your positions on this. All you need to do is put up links to videos and other content with a strong headline. Soon it will be re-posted on status updates everywhere in Twitter and Facebook and featured in email "forwards."
3 - Social Media Is More Cost Effective than Any Other Form of Marketing
Because the medium itself is "free" in many ways, to use, you only need to pay for the time it takes your staff to update and interact with your social media outlets. This reduces the budget needed for conventional advertising, while simultaneously increasing its effectiveness.
In addition, many software programs facilitate and reduce the time needed to maintain the different social media accounts.
When some paid advertising is needed it will be less expensive to place ads on different social media platforms like Facebook and StumbleUpon than it would be to do on other media (television, radio, print, etc.).
4 - Hype Sells
Let's face it: hype can arguably be as powerful, if not more powerful than content. This is why generating a buzz online is absolutely quintessential. Social media makes it possible to go "viral" quickly, and in a seemingly organic fashion.
Research has shown that consumers are more likely to respond to what they believe is their own idea or the idea of a friend or family member than they are to respond to something that seems corporate-driven or commercially rooted.
In Conclusion: It's a New Era
Times have changed. For instance, when Obama was elected, Myspace played a huge role. Now, Myspace has become virtually irrelevant, while Twitter and Facebook are the favorites now. That may not last forever. YouTube shows no signs of slowing down, and certainly needs to be one of the primary resources of any social media political campaign strategy.
Keeping up with the latest trends in social media is currently the key to success at marketing virtually anything. Social media marketing is now one of the most actively used advertising methods and are having the greatest impact on instituting expansive publicity for various causes. Political campaign managers must aim to be one step ahead of the opposing candidate's campaign. The chances of winning the race are maximized by finding the most experienced social media marketing consultant and starting your political social media campaign as early as possible.
Nashat Mostafa is the founder and CEO of SEO 7 Services. Throughout an extensive career as a Montreal search engine optimization consultant, Mostafa has worked along side many companies both large and small, to plan and execute effective, results-driven internet marketing campaigns. He has also arranged many SEO training seminars and has published countless articles, in an effort to assist small business owners - in taking advantage of the latest trends in SEO and social media marketing, achieving top search engine placement positions, boosting website traffic, increasing conversion rates and improving Return on Investment (ROI). Montreal SEO 7 Services is well-established in the field of internet marketing and search engine optimization, serving a broad range of industries from fashion and jewellery manufacturers to medical data and software development companies.