Whether you like it or not, Social Media is here to stay.
Recently the viral photo of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle shattered all the SM traffic records ever recorded “That photo, taken by a campaign photographer just a few days into the job in mid-August, has broken all sorts of Internet records. With more than 816,000 retweets as of Sunday, it’s the most shared picture in the history of Twitter, beating out entries from Justin Bieber and the fast-food chain Wendy’s. It’s also the most-liked photograph ever to be shared on Facebook, amassing almost 4.5 million “likes” since Election Day.” Is this coincidence or a genuine marketing strategy gone right?
The reach of SM is ostensible. The adeptness of reaching an audience half way across the world is beyond commanding, it is downright impervious to the general rule of communication and marketing. It’s remarkable to think that during the election news programs’ SM tentacles were told to simmer their pre-elected thoughts and predictions and focus on what was happening on the forefront in real time. For the most part, most news programs obeyed and all was quiet on the SM front until the first state closed their polls. In my previous post about how this election was using social media to reach its audience, has been proven its effectiveness twice over indeed. President Obama is a textbook example and will be prominent and remembered as the progressive theorist who implemented one of the strongest Social Media campaigns to date. During his re-election campaign, his staff fashioned a brilliant campaign and crafted literal copy for all social media venues for both the VP and the President.
When looking at stats on the efficiency of SM and which demographic they access, it is unambiguously that minorities and women are the most frequent users. And in the end the two groups the GOP found most difficult to reach were minorities, specifically Hispanics and women. All in all, had the GOP truly continued the legacy that Sarah Palin began in 2008 it is quite possible they might have had a shot at capturing the lead on minorities and women. They might bank on their agenda followers, but as a campaign, it’s sad to think they didn’t even really consider a SM strategy and even though this wasn’t a total glimpse into the failure of the GOP’s election efforts, it was definitely a glimpse into the minds of how they planned their crusade around fear factor and a negative televised campaign. That might have worked in 2004, but as it is, 8 years later, Americans with the help of SM have progressed. On the other hand, the Dems found the niche and ran with it, and if you look at their SM stats and how many followers, how many posts and how many interactions they had, no one should have ever doubted Obama’s re-election and Romney would have never felt so confident. Point made. Not only does SM give people the option to voice their opinions to their candidate, it also helps them to feel as if they were heard. Obama and his staff clearly took advantage of this and ran with it. Smart. Very smart. I guess the GOP still looks at SM as a dating service.
Moreover, it’s regrettable to suppose that Romney’s campaign dwellers couldn’t figure this one out, but as it seems with most Republicans, their idea of progressiveness is always two steps behind everyone else and has demonstrated as such. You can only base your campaign around fear and hate for so long, but in the end people want to know that you have more to say than just what the other guy did wrong, they want to believe that you can make change happen and they want to know that their vote is counting towards something meaningful. And a respectable way to institute that sentiment is to plaster it all over the place. The GOP fell short, way short and this was largely one of the biggest missed opportunities to date, and in the end, the GOP were left scratching their gray haired heads wondering what the hell happened.
Now, I’m not saying that SM was the only “key” player in this game of politics, but I will say it definitely played important role. And maybe later on it will be shown that it was “the” tipping point for most voters. Until then, lets assume it only mildly contributed to the campaign’s successful message deployment. When you look at the numbers in the Romney camp and how staggering they are in comparison to Obama’s SM interactions you have to wonder if this did play a role in all of this? Clearly, the muscle of SM is underestimated. Yet, the GOP continues to use the fear factor to fight their fight, and this time it didn’t work and they lost in a big way.
The people spoke and they spoke loudly. 20 women are now in the senate, one of which is the first openly gay women to serve in the senate, Gay marriage was approved in three states, an amendment was overturned in Minnesota to block it, and Marijuana was legalized in 2 states. Progress? Anyone? Anyone? By using SM, local campaigns were able to get their word out and quickly. Everything about everything that was on the ballot, state, local, federal became viral. In the end, regardless of how SM will be remembered in this election, on thing is clear, SM is a tool and it was a weapon of mass destruction for the Dems who intelligently crafted their campaign around it and used this contrivance to their advantage