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Francis Santos

How the GOP Will Use Social Media in 2012

May 14 2012, 05:18 PM by

Technology has come a mighty long way since 2008. That is the year the Republican party was outpaced by the internet-driven assault launched by their democratic rivals. Technology is sure to play an even bigger role in the 2012 Presidential Election, and this time around, the GOP is not being left behind - at least it hopes.
Republicans Smell Victory
The Republican National Party has just launched the Social Victory Center. What is it? An online hub specially made for supporters who wish to play an active role in the ongoing and upcoming campaigns. The new platform provides all the tools activists and volunteers need to connect and get involved with the political topics they care about. Perhaps the most interesting part about all this is that the GOP has decided to leverage Facebook, everybody’s social network, as the centerpiece that puts everything together.

According to the Republican website RedState, accessing the Social Victory Center is as simple as logging into any application connected to Facebook. Once inside, users can engage in activities that range from viewing articles and video tailored to their interests to sharing all that information with their friends. One of the stronger points of the Social Victory Center is in how it allows supporters to easily get involved in the campaign process. Volunteers can organize events, make phone calls and learn more about other ways to make a difference all from the Facebook app.

Many social media platforms are thriving, but the GOP was wise in its decision to go with Facebook. As you may know, the site recently surpassed the milestone of 900 million registered users, but what really makes it suitable for the Social Victory Center is its retention quality. Statistics published on RedState show that the average person spends six to seven hours on the popular social network per month. The combination of 2.7 billion comments and likes tells the story as far as the level of activity they are contributing. For the Republican party, setting up camp on Facebook was a no-brainer.
Strong Social Influence
Presidential candidates will surely pull out all the stops for this year’s election race. Traditional channels, email, mobile - whatever they can get their hands on. With that said, social appears to be where both parties are setting the bulk of their focus, and if statistics mean anything, they have every reason to do so. The Pew Research Center reports that by the end of 2011, 66% of adult internet users were members of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. About half of that segment reached those networks through applications on their smartphone, which just goes to show how much value there is in using this channel to reach political supporters.

For Presidential candidates leveraging this lively digital frontier, the main benefit of social media is the sharing aspect. The average American uses social media to interact with family and friends. A big part of that experience is sharing information with those connections. Whether it is through a share, like or retweet, candidates who are able to use this channel to get their supporters active and involved will be in position to cross the finish line.

The monumental election we witnessed in 2008 may have been the first to make widespread use of social media and internet technology, but I guarantee you we haven’t seen anything yet. Technology will continue to become a bigger influence as more platforms are introduced and more users jump on the bandwagon. Not even destinations like the Social Victory Center can ensure a win, but at least the GOP is thinking forward because this time there are no excuses.

Posted in Social Media, Tech Editorial

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