Social networking is nothing new to the presidential campaigns, but their strategies, tactics and degree of functionality have evolved over time. What has really caught people’s eye is Barrack Obama’s success with online fundraising. According to a Business Week article, Obama’s $51 million fundraising campaign was double that of McCain’s. Ontop of that, the Obama camp has stated that 88% of their donations have come from online resources.
What is he doing to make his online campaigning so successful?
Obama is the first candidate to start using widgets to make it incredibly easy for anyone to donate to the campaign through his social media channels. Obama is taking social media tools and networking sites seriously and is literally “everywhere”. Barrack Obama has a powerful presence on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter as well as commenting on other sites such as BlackPlanet, MiGente and Glee (to name a few). With his presence on all these sites, it is no wonder that people are able to follow Obama more readily and easily. One source stated that McCain barely understands the Internet, let alone uses it in the right manner to captivate an audience.
Comparing Obama’s use of social media with that of McCain’s, it is clear that there are huge differences in their approaches, and it’s beginning to show.
If you visit any of Obama’s networking tools you will see how he engages with the specific audience. It won’t take you any time at all to find the donation widget, encouraging people to donate to the campaign. It’s no wonder his stats are higher than McCain’s. Obama engages his audience on their turf and then encourages them to donate.
This will definitely change presidential campaigning in the future, and it won’t be any surprise that social media marketing will play a major role.