As we wrap up our last social media campaigns for DYNM 558 this week, the current crop of presidential hopefuls will just be getting started with their own campaigns. And obviously social media will be a big part of any successful presidential run. Obama proved this in 2012 with a very succesful digital campaign by finding unique uses of online channels to inform audiences, register voters, and solicit donations.
One major candidate who will have to do a better job than she did seven years ago is Hillary Clinton. So far Hillary’s campaign has mostly consisted of a blitz of email, video, and tweetable content. The problem though as this article points out is that the content has been mostly one-way messaging that said, “I’m here, pay attention to me” instead of engaging with prospective voters in an interactive way.
Two suggestions for improving Hillary’s chances follow:
- Using a full variety of platforms will be critical for Clinton. In addition to Email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Hillary will need to meet younger voters on newer mobile-first platforms such as MeerKat, Periscope and Snapchat. With such a large segment of voters who generally rely on their smartphones for information, it is more important than in past campaigns to be effectively engaged with these mediums.
- Then there’s the personal side. Just who is Hillary Clinton? Clinton is often criticized for failing to make genuine and personal connections with voters—in her last campaign, she preferred to engage through large, scripted events instead of intimate retail politics. That strategy is considered to have contributed to her loss against Obama in the primaries. This time around Hillary needs to create an image that connects with voters. But unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your preference, she’s off to bad start with the introduction of her curious new logo. The internet buzzed with mostly negative comments when they got a look at this:
“So what lucky 3rd grader won the Design the Hillary Clinton Campaign Logo contest?” Tweeted a commentator with the handle @massfubar to nearly 14,000 followers.
While it’s not clear just who did the design, it did signal an early reminder that missteps or hiccups by the campaigns, however small or trivial, can echo across social media at lightning speed.
The real point here is that whoever is successful needs to take charge of her or his own brand and identity. Remember the Texts From Hillary meme that was spawned from a photograph of Clinton in sunglasses while coolly checking her Blackberry? The Internet created that; and although it encouraged millions of people to see Clinton from a different perspective, it wasn’t something that was genuinely “Hillary”.
Here’s one of those creations:
So to recap, if Hillary is going to win she will need to meet the young voters where they live and she needs to carefully build her own identity before those same voters build it for her. Good luck Hillary.