Enhancing Political Campaigns With Social Media

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Social media is taking over politics. 

After the 2016 election, politicians everywhere realized they needed to improve their social media strategies. Since then, there’s been a massive push towards social media engagement on both sides of the aisle. 

Politicians With The Most Effective Social Media Strategies

Social media isn’t only for sharing baby pictures anymore. Many voters use social media as their primary news source, so many politicians are using these platforms to get their message out and connect with voters. However, political use of social media doesn’t end at the campaign trail. Elected representatives are also using social media to connect and build rapport with constituents.

These are the most notable political social media users from both sides of the aisle.

President Donald Trump

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Team Trump’s social media campaigns played a pivotal role in his 2016 election. Trump’s social media staff included over 100 staffers, including writers, web developers, and even data scientists. The team helped pull off one of the biggest upsets in American political history.

His social media team used a variety of techniques to maximize the effectiveness of their ads. They churned out thousands of pieces of content and used audience data to send them wherever they’d be the most effective. All and all, the Trump campaign created over 100,000 pieces of unique content.

Trump’s social media budget started with $2 million that it used to target Trump supporters with Facebook Ads. His team mined the Facebook audience data to identify common demographics and interests, then used that data to expand its ad efforts. Eventually, his team was able to create a custom database with over 220 million Americans on file. The database, commonly referred to as Project Alamo, contains 4,000 to 5,000 data points on every person on file. 

When it was all said and done, Trump dropped about $70 million per month on ads, significantly more than his opponent’s team. The vote was so close, that it’s possible that social media made the difference. Trump’s big win showed the world how powerful effective social media campaigns can be.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stormed onto the national political stage in 2018 after she beat Anthony Pappas for New York’s 14th congressional district seat. Cortez, commonly referred to as AOC, was a 26-year-old bartender before she won her congressional seat. 

With over 4.1 million Instagram followers, she has earned a reputation for social media savviness. AOC only has a fraction as many followers as Trump, but she has better engagement metrics than practically any other politicians. 

When AOC first arrived in Washington, her senior congressional colleagues were eager to learn from her. She soon began running social media workshops to help them improve their skills. 

AOC made her D.C. debut while the early 2019 government shutdown was in full swing, and she made her presence felt right away by launching the #WheresMitch hashtag. It referenced Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, implying that he was responsible for the shutdown.  “Where’s Mitch” quickly began trending and ended up being a big PR win for her staff.

In addition to her hashtagging skills, she regularly uses Instagram stories to engage her followers in a very intimate manner. On at least one occasion, she famously went Live to chat with her followers while she chopped vegetables for her dinner. The impromptu live sessions are social media gold, and they’re a major factor in her excellent engagement stats.

Social Media and Politics

The relationship between social media and politics is evolving. Critics argue that politicians are pushing the ethical limits of these platforms, and it’s even led Twitter to ban all paid political ads on its platform.

Golden Age Consulting can show you how to put social media to work for your political campaign. Our experienced experts can show exactly how to target your core audience. Reach out to us today and get started with a free one-on-one information session.