The first of three 2012 presidential debates was the most-tweeted about event in U.S. political history. It’s an impressive fact until you realize that in 2008, presidential candidates were only just starting to dabble in social media and online marketing. Today, neither Obama nor Romney would be caught dead without a fully rounded social media campaign, complete with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and yes, even Spotify accounts. So, what can you learn from presidential marketing? First, never insult Big Bird on a national stage, and second, your business is nothing without an online presence.
Priority number one for most candidates isn’t to establish their policies but to establish their presence. Candidates need to seem as human, as accessible, and as sympathetic as humanly possible, so it makes sense that both campaigns would set up social media accounts. Not only does it increase their respected Web presences, but it also allows supporters and followers to feel a tighter bond with the candidate of their choice.
Reach and Efficiency
Hey, no candidate will be able to meet with every American individually — and no business is able to reach out to every potential customer. Luckily, with online marketing, candidates (and businesses) have the opportunity to extend their reach far past the sound of their own voice at a rally. Instead, shareable content, off-the-cuff tweets, and viral videos make up the brunt of a campaign that once was confined to slanderous TV commercials and cheesy billboards.
Sure, the presidential debate was the perfect time to hear what each candidate had to say on health care and the economy, but it also made for some interesting reading online. It proves that to be a contender in a race — whether presidential or professional — you’ll need to extend your reach and make sure that you remain accessible in your marketing and social tactics. The best part? Your fans, followers, and customers can do much of the legwork for you as they share, tweet, and message your way to the top. Just ask the Twitter followers for both candidates: They have around 22 million combined. In fact, B2C reports that social media might be a better predictor of the presidential race than mainstream media … and it might be a better predictor of business success, too.