Throughout the history of presidential campaigns, we have seen the rise of technology and the role it plays in candidates’ marketing campaigns. From Roosevelt’s first use of radio in the 1932 election to the impact television made in the 1960 race between Kennedy and Nixon, mass media technology has been in the forefront of past campaigns. This year marks another milestone as the Internet and social media make prominent appearances in the 2012 election.
Over the years, there have been new and exciting breakthroughs in technology that allowed for communication to reach the masses. And as we become more and more immersed in Blogging, YouTubing, Facebooking, and Tweeting, the Internet has fast become a direct and easy way to reach millions of people around the country. It seems the candidates of the 2012 presidential election have realized the value of social media and, while the more traditional channels are still being utilized (i.e. campaign posters and TV ads), Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have incorporated digital marketing into their campaigns.
Obama successfully utilized social media in his 2008 campaign in his win over John McCain, and this year continues to expand his social reach through Twitter (with over 20 million followers and averaging 14.4 tweets a day). Romney is making significant headway in the world of Facebook, with a 76% fan growth since May 1st. Many analysts have their opinions on the clear winner in the social media battle and believe that’s a direct correlation to winning the election. Each candidate is making their own successes in the digital space, but we will find out in about a month’s time who the winner of this race will be and if the use of social media was a significant factor in the win.
What is your take on each presidential candidate’s digital strategy in this year’s campaign?