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Spotlight: A Closer Look at the Social Voter

Harry Rollason
By Harry Rollason on May 11, 2016 10:40:17 AM


Mike Schneider, Conversocial's VP of Growth and Tamar Frumkin, Brand & Content Marketing Manager sat down to discuss how the race for the presidency in 2016 is largely being shaped by candidate's engagement on Social Media. By building strong brands, responding to their audience and rallying their advocates, politicians are able to make a strong impact on the Social generation of voters. Read on for the transcript, or watch the video below. 

Check out our infographic with Synthesio, reviewing the impact of each candidate on Social Media. 


Tamar: New York voted on Tuesday, and I think it's very interesting to take a look at how social media has played a huge part in this election cycle. I mean, we've seen it in the past two cycles as well, but I think nothing compares to the show that we're seeing in 2016.


Mike: Absolutely. Obama made major steps in 2008 with actually running a digital first campaign. Even still, eight years later, we're not seeing that fundamentally different of a strategy. No one is #SocialFirst. No one is actually engaging actively with the folks that are out there.


Tamar: I would say it comes in degrees. So for example, what's something that Bernie's doing very well? We all have some Bernie Sanders's friends on our feeds. They are definitely the most active and outspoken. He knows how to activate his trolls.


Mike: He does.


Tamar: That's pretty powerful. That's showing that he's able to gather somewhat of brand sentiment around his messages. Hillary, I have to say, I see her show up and do Facebook Q and As, and perhaps, she's not constantly responding to everything. However, I also saw her answer some really difficult questions on Facebook.


Mike: It's still sort of saying having a Facebook Q and A as your main form of engagement is just missing the point. I think, if there are voters out there on Twitter, on any public channel who are asserting things, asking questions, very specific things where it's the polling booth, and no one's really getting back to them. If you do a search on Twitter and stuff, you will see tons and tons and tons of folks in that situation. Effectively, Q and A is saying, "Okay, come to me. I'll answer your questions on my turf," which is really how customer care is built for however many decades because social's owned by the customer, owned by the voter in this case. To not meet them where they are and stuff, they're really into such a small-


Tamar: You would recommend that a lot of ... Because, as we all know, they're still spending ... I won't say which candidate, but there's one that I like, and I'm on such an aggressive nurture email track. It's like, "Listen, I love you, but you email more than my mother. It's a little too much." I think it's interesting what you're saying that a lot of that money that is being spent on these more legacy channels of engagement can be better used.


Mike: Definitely.


Tamar: Perhaps bringing your crowds together, bringing your people together to spread the information, and also, if you're looking proactively for people that are having the right conversation, you're not just trolling, which is what we all feel on our Facebook walls right now in the middle of election season. Donald Trump, on the other side, he might not put his messages together quite as eloquently as Bernie does; however, he understands the value of social as far as being much more disruptive in creating a viral aspect to your messaging. I think social's also having an impact in how they're even approaching their campaigns.


Mike: The notion of being able to just change the news cycle with a single Tweet is just such a game-changer. Of course, if you really are in the need to try to, really need to practically get in front of folks, then they don't care at all.


Tamar: "The New York Times" estimated that Donald Trump had gotten over, and this is like a couple months ago, God knows now, over two billion dollars worth of free media coverage. This all comes from Tweeting things that are pretty aggressive and disruptive. Saying things that are not necessarily politically correct, but he's, in essence, just owning media through these tactics. What would be your steps? Let's say that today you were made the head of the campaign for Donald Trump. I'm just going to really challenge you right now. What would be your three first steps for becoming social first, to make Donald Trump social first? Action.


Mike: Number one was really ensuring that the campaign is getting what they need out of social, regardless of his own personal appeal. Number two, learn more about the audience that's out there, so he wants to be consistent across all of them, but Instagram is very grassroots, which is great. If they do really want to use Twitter as this unique and channel and stuff, finding a way to balance all of it. Each of the candidates is only as good as their least human channel.


Tamar: That's a very, very good point. Only as good as your least human channel.


Mike: Right.


Tamar: I think that's the takeaway.

Learn more about the Social Voter here. 

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