From a pure business perspective and regardless of political affiliation, it’s hard to ignore the flawless marketing plan employed by Barack Obama’s camp in 2008. It was dubbed the “Facebook election” due to the grass roots social media campaigns employed to harness the power of young Americans. The 2008 election was a catalyst to the social age of politics, and will be studied by business students for years to come.
With 2016 looming what social platforms will the candidates employ and which ones will be key to a victory? The Facebook generation is now 8 years older, so there are some additional networks that should be focused on. Below are my top 6 networks that will be key for reaching the younger generation of 2008 and the new younger generation of 2016.
- Facebook: It has become a hub for media content and since 2008 has immersed itself in political content sharing. I expect video and images to be the most used medium for posting due to the introduction of video publishing tools that may rival YouTube and because of their high engagement rates. Organic impressions are significantly lower than they were in 2008 though, so campaigns will have to pay to play on Facebook
- Twitter: With organic impressions declining on Facebook, Twitter could be a great way to connect your message with millions of followers. A key strategy will be to post frequently to capture audiences who are on the platform at different times.
- YouTube: Still a great place to post commercials, debates, town hall meetings, basketball highlights, and other videos that normalize a candidate as a human.
- Periscope/Meerkat: Based off of data from Adobe Social analyzed by the Adobe Digital Index in the Q2 Social Intelligence Report, Periscope has over 6 million social mentions since launch and its daily average has doubled since being introduce on Android. Periscope has taken a lead in social mentions, but both should be employed since neither one has completely taken over the live streaming space. These networks are great ways to give behind the scenes looks into campaigns, and provide potential to link to extremely engaged audiences.
- Snapchat: Millennials love instant interaction and this provides just that. You may be limited to 10 seconds, but many brands have found effective ways to engage audiences even with a brief window.
- Instagram: This one is borderline, because it is used a lot by both groups. Short videos and inspiring images will help to create buzz on this visual platform. It is also a good place to replace organic impressions possibly lost on Facebook.
From my perspective, those who really give an inside view into how a campaign is run and day to day life on the road will create a huge advantage for themselves among the emerging millennial generation that craves instant and more personal interaction. For that reason, you heard it here first, when it’s all said and done 2016 will be called the Periscope election.