Team Romney may be moving ahead in social Presidential election
Firstly, his team have worked new Facebook searches in a more sophisticated manner that their opponents. When you search for ‘Obama’ on Facebook, you are actually presented with sponsored results for Mitt Romney. The same is true if you search Facebook for Bill Clinton.
Search for Joe Biden, and you get results for Republican Vice Presidential pick Paul Ryan. As Forbes notes, brands and political campaigns have been doing this for years on Google AdWords, but it shows a certain amount of savvy from Team Romney in the newer social media landscape.
It is not just in advertising that the Republicans are doing innovative things with social media either. At their recent convention they worked with a firm called Mass Relevance, which created giant walls of tweets around the convention centre.
These Tweets were filtered to show comments and conversations related to the them that the speaker on stage was talking abut. The Romney Campaigns Digital Director Zac Moffat told ClickZ that working with Mass relevance allowed the RNC to find “a tweet occurring thousands of miles away and in a few minutes have it appear on a stage.” Mass Relevance founder and CEO Sam Decker adds that “we’re talking to the campaigns,” indicating that the Obama campaign are also be looking at the visualisation tools on offer.
Furthermore, commercial brands are working on similar projects. Mass Relevance have developed projects for major corporate companies such as Pepsi, Fox, and Major League Baseball. Patagonia, the outdoor clothes maker, has worked with them t to highlight the #BecauseILove hashtag, and support their environmental campaigning, while “FOX Sports Media Group worked with the social platform company to create fan photo walls, polls and leaderboards.”
As politicians and political parties increasingly become brands in the truest sense, it is not surprising to see similar techniques being employed by campaigners and corporates.
Romney’s team are putting the money into interesting places online, for example being the first to by a sponsored trend on Twitter, and will reach a lot of people that way. However, they are not harnessing the community nature of social channels in quite the same way as the Obama campaign. President Obama still has over 28 million Facebook fans, set a new record for Twitter moments, and crashed Reddit by doing an AMA chat.
The Obama campaign’s digital projects are ultimately still making a bigger splash, as we saw earlier this week with the launch of the ‘For All campaign that responded to Romney’s 47% comments, but Team Romney are no luddites, and are using money and innovative techniques to keep the pressure up on the President.