Sweeney: Are Democrats Losing the Social Media War?
If you really dug deep you can see that something changed in the last 60 days. Since June 1st Romney has taken a decisive lead in the presidential race. According to the latest Rasmussen polls, Romney had been tracking at a one point advantage. This came on the heels of two ingenious uses of mobile app technology by the Romney campaign, but it was the last month that really changed things.
Look at the release date of the key Presidential Mobile Apps on the iTunes App Store:
- With Mitt - released May 30, 2012
- Mitt's VP - released July 31, 2012
- Obama for America - released July 31, 2012
- DNC 2012 - released August 7, 2012
- Tampa 2012 - released August 17, 2012
The smart bomb is hidden in one of those five apps.
Romney’s campaign knew the letting someone in on a secret, giving them information before it even hit the press, doing it in real time over mobile would make anyone cooler at the water cooler. Romney’s Manhattan project was “Mitt’s VP” released July 31st and responsible for much momentum and a big swing during the convention.
According to the New York Times the effects of the convention were successful. Despite “mediocre television ratings,” Romney gained a four point uptick in a very close race. I along with others in social media marketing experts attribute this to a smarter social media strategy and more effective mobile apps.
The Republicans are winning the online war because of four smart strategies:
- Focusing on engagement
- Adopting automated social posting that makes it easy to share
- Focusing on “Social Media Product Placement” with logos and overlays
- Helping build “street cred” for their followers by giving them key information early (the VP pick)
If the Democrats don’t have some interesting social media and mobile apps up their sleeve it may be too late to win back this precious landscape with only 60 days left until the election. On the Republican front, their 59% app advantage will require continued innovation to maintain. The GOP received a big bounce from the Mitt’s VP app, but the Vice Presidential candidate selection is now over. Maintaining social media momentum will require new apps that drive timely and topical engagements, not more users.
Note: dwinQ was hired for both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The company has no further affiliation with either party.
Patrick Sweeney is President & CEO of dwinQ, a social media marketing company that provides frictionless real world connections to social media and helps brands like Facebook, Vail Resorts, Harley-Davidson, Lexus, and others monetize the moment. Follow him on twitter @PJSweeney.
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