With the 2015 General Election campaigns in full swing, you’d be forgiven for getting a bit distracted by the Joey Essex interviews or Paint With Nigel Farage. But across the pond Hilary Clinton’s campaign has begun in earnest, putting social media at the heart of the 2016 presidential race.
Social media provides the perfect platform for people to connect… and it’s clear politicians understand (or at least are aware of) its importance for disseminating information and helping form opinions. Authenticity, immediacy and inclusivity are paramount for any brand on social, and the same rules apply to politicians – who you could argue are brands in their own right.
No one understands this better than powerhouse brand Hillary Clinton. When she announced her running for the Presidency on Sunday, she had already smashed the competition out of the water in terms of social engagement, with 10.1million interactions on her Facebook page within 24 hours (double that of the reaction to Ted Cruz’s announcement in March). Her move to hire ex-Googler Stephanie Hannon as CTO shows she is not only invested in digital as a means to engage with stakeholders, but crucially understands its importance in getting people to act on her behalf through promoting campaign donation options and ultimately voting.
So while she’s surrounding herself with a crack team of online experts, what we’re really impressed with are the nods to the three core social media values: authenticity, immediacy and inclusivity. Clinton launched her campaign with a shareable Everyday Americans video announcement (inclusive), created a Facebook timeline of her own personal milestones (authentic) and has posted regularly ever since with live images and quotes from her campaign trail (immediate).
Audience trust is challenging to build and so easy to lose on social media, especially in politics, but it’s clear if politicians get it right on social the engagement stats speak for themselves… and now we’re more curious than ever to see how the parties in the UK General Election play out their agendas through social media.
N.B. If you’re interested in hearing more about the role of social media in the General Election, the PCRA are hosting an event on just that next week: www.prca.org.uk