How can you tell which presidential candidate is using social media more effectively?

Home Forums Citizen Engagement & Customer Service How can you tell which presidential candidate is using social media more effectively?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Sperry 7 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #167845

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    In the last presidential election, President Obama clearly demonstrated how social media can affect voting. With the election just a few months away, it’ll be fascinating to see how each candidate leverages social media to shape public opinion. My question is…

    How can you tell which candidate is more effectively building a digital presence? # Twitter followers? # Facebook fans?

  • #167865

    Peter Sperry
    Participant

    The most important measure will be how well they turn their digital presence into real votes, and at what cost. Most of the social media efforts I’ve seen so far fall in the “preaching to the choir” category. This could have real impact if it increases choir member turnout on election day. Most campaigns devote the overwhelming majority of resources, old media and new, to these efforts. The traditional measurment problem has always been trying to separate the choir members who would have voted without the media efforts from those who turnedout because of them. A lot of money is spent in October on votes that have been in the bag since January. What most campaigns would like to gain from social media is some mechanism of identifying possible stay at home choir members at the micro level so they can focus their turnout efforts more efectively and hopefully freeup more resources for communicating with the truly undecided. I am not sure they are getting this right now from social media and if anything appear to be wasting even more resources than usual nailing down votes they have already won.

  • #167863

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Great response. You’re absolutely right — how do you measure how effective you are in turning voters your way? Would be hard to measure.

  • #167861

    David B. Grinberg
    Participant

    How about a more simple answer, Chris, at least from a personal perspective, and on a micro level:

    You can probably tell which candidate is being more effective by whether you are engaging in their social media outreach and/or becoming part of their social media machine (ie. http://www.MyBarackObama.com which I b elieve was designed by a former top official of Facebook for worked for the Obama campaign during the 2008 election cycle). Just some food for thought.

  • #167859

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Certainly on a personal level, absolutely. But I’m interested to know how you’d more objectively measure prior to the final voting results.

  • #167857

    Samuel Lovett
    Participant

    A Pew report released yesterday breaks down which candidate is having more traction on social media channels and adapting to new communications technology. The report says that the Obama campaign, in terms of sheer followers/friends and practices, is ahead of the competition.

    More interestingly, the report says that neither campaign has used many of the social aspects of social media…

    http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/how_presidential_candidates_use_web_and_social_media#fn1

  • #167855

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Thanks for the link and summary. Great article!

  • #167853

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Samuel, I’ve scanned this article a few times now. It is pretty surprising to me that the two candidates aren’t using social media to engage in two-way conversations with followers.

  • #167851

    Samuel Lovett
    Participant

    I had the same reaction. I imagine that retweeting, responding to tweets, and answering facebook questions publicly takes a lot more time than just pumping out a one way message. With a one-way approach to communication you can theoretically stay in control of your message, right? But there are examples out there in government and politics of accounts that primarily engage on social media, and do it very effectively. Cory Booker in Newark is a prime example. I’d love to read someone’s take on why more people haven’t been able to make the jump to his engagement approach.

  • #167849

    Deb Dyar
    Participant

    I read the PEJ Report as well and was somewhat surprised at the limited strategies being employed. It appears there is more push messaging and very little engagement and almost no two-way conversations taking place.

    I’m not sure this type of messaging changes minds or informs undecided voters. What it does do is keep the candidate of choice and what they stand for top of mind for voters who have already made up their mind.

    The social media strategy being employed by both campaigns appears to be today’s iteration of robocalls at a lower cost and to a larger audience.

  • #167847

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Agreed!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.