We’ve touched on the importance of social media and the campaign before, and we’ll continue to watch as it unfolds - this is, after all, the first election with a serious social presence among candidates. But while the candidates themselves are Tweeting and Snapchatting - their social media teams are running the special plays behind the scenes. Social media isn’t just important, it could be a huge factor in the 2016 election. This recent article by CIO, Why social media could swing the 2016 presidential election, hones in on how different candidates are using social channels to effectively reach millennials.
And while millennials are readily available (does anyone really disengage anymore?), being able to market to them in a way that gets their attention and doesn’t feel like advertising is the tough part. Social channels that are seeing the most success in this are the likes of Periscope and Snapchat.
Video marketing is (currently) the favorite way for millennials to relate best to brands, organizations, and now presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a Snapchat and Donald Trump announced his run for presidency on Periscope. The idea being that these videos are quick, easy to digest, and aren’t like the typical election ads of the past. They’re not pushing messages to the consumer, but engaging with them on their interests and values - across a platform that they (the user) feels the most comfortable with.
The trickiest part is for brands and, in this instance, candidates, to navigate these channels without seeming intrusive. Millennials were there first, and they’re very aware when someone is intruding on their space.
A presence on a variety of social channels walks that thin line of engagement and campaign promotion by allowing the messages to vary per channel. The article highlights how Clinton’s campaign posted a video on Snapchat wishing students a good first day back at school. No call to action. No campaign hype. No pushing of beliefs or slamming opponents - instead, it shows the side of her that’s like millions of others: A mom, a grandma, just another person on social media - who happens to be running for the most powerful position in the world, but hey...
This election will be telling in the success, or lack thereof, of social channels morphing business with pleasure as we choose the next president. And we’ll be Liking, Commenting, and Following along the way.