With 74 percent of online adults using social networking sites, it’s no wonder that the 2016 presidential candidates are looking to social media to attract voters. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have become the new norm in political outreach efforts, but the upcoming election offers more promotional options for candidates, including Instagram and Snapchat. As the post-holiday week draws to a close, we will be discussing how presidential candidates will be utilizing social media in their campaigns and how social platforms will be capitalizing on the increased use among candidates.
With the 2016 presidential race seemingly in full swing, political candidates have already begun executing social media strategies to promote their campaigns. Is there a common theme among the social strategies of candidates? Most candidates are seeking to stand out to the millennial generation, diversifying their social platforms to millennials’ preferences. The goal is to create messages that millennials will share, expanding the candidate’s reach and creating advocates for their campaigns. Experts say for social campaigns to be effective, candidates will need to be original and authentic, breaking the mold of age-old political ads.
A recent estimate by Borrell Associates estimates that $1 billion dollars of political media budgets will be put toward digital media. With profits in mind social networking sites are touting their strengths and features to attract advertising dollars from presidential candidates.
Facebook offers candidates the opportunity to target their ads by uploading voter data directly into Facebook’s platform. Google’s search advertising can sponsor links to candidate’s websites when voters are researching different candidates. Twitter allows campaigns to engage in real time, providing candidates with the ability to keep up with political operatives and journalists. Lastly, Snapchat is promoting its videos to persuade young voters to align with a candidate.
Do you think using social media is an effective way for candidates to engage voters? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Samantha Peer is an intern at WordWrite Communications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @sam_peer.