It’s not that retail politics is for losers in the Republican presidential primary race, but the candidates stumping hardest in Iowa and New Hampshire – Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry – are generally polling lowest. (Exception that proves the rule: Ron Paul.)
And the question inevitably rises: How many books will there be next year identifying online social networks as Retail Politics 2.0?
Here’s a handy starter kit for kicking the topic around:
• Via techPresident:
From YouTube to Facebook, New Digital Targeting Helps Romney Campaign Reach Voters
As potential caucus goers and voters in Iowa and New Hampshire go about their lives this Christmas season, they’re likely to see Mitt Romney appear in unexpected places.
If they watch on-demand content online, they’re likely to see a 30-second spot for Romney on Hulu or YouTube in the days leading up to the contests in those states. Or if they own a mobile device, they might see an ad that asks them to volunteer, or to get engaged in some other way with the campaign.
It’s all part of a wider ad targeting campaign that the Romney team has carefully planned over the year as it hunts for voters in every virtual nook and cranny in the emerging post-live television world, blanketing Iowa in targeted online ads that use just about every new trick in the Internet marketing playbook.
Digital advertising agency SAY Media promises its clients it can “reach 165 million people a month on the web and on mobile devices who are not likely to be big watchers of live television,” techPresident reports.
The Romney campaign is spending roughly 10% of its ad budget (shades of Scott Brown’s 2010 Senate run) versus the traditional 5% most candidates have alloted. According to the techPresident piece, ”Team Mitt’s work largely involves online video, but search and zip-code targeting on Facebook, as well as buying keywords on Twitter and Google, are part of the mix too.”
Which brings us to . . .
• Via Politico:
Campaigns capitalize on Facebook
Ron Paul is averaging $2 million a day. Newt Gingrich is putting his supporters to work making online phone calls. And President Obama and other candidates have embedded Facebook into the very DNA of their campaign websites. Is this the cycle in which presidential campaigns finally figure out how to effectively use Facebook as a campaign tool?
The Politico piece provides plenty of fun facts to know and tell:
* Ron Paul —surging in the Iowa polls — is adding Facebook fans faster than any other candidate. He has added over 6,000 a day in the last two weeks. [Even better, he used Facebook to raise $4 million in a two-day "moneybomb."]
* Newt Gingrich, who actually launched his campaign on Facebook, has developed an application that allows volunteers to make campaign phone calls.
* President Obama has launched a full merchandise store, and has used the platform to engage his massive 24 million fan audience, including promoting his campaign’s Win A Dinner with the president contest.
Lots more good stuff as well.
Finally . . .
• Via Advertising Age:
Presidential Candidates Use Promoted Tweets to Sway Voters in Real Time
While Republican presidential candidates exchange barbs at the GOP debates, another battle is developing behind the scenes as digital strategists use promoted tweets to influence voters in real time as they digest the day’s breaking political news.
Twitter rolled out its political-advertising products in September with a pilot group of five presidential candidates and national political party committees,including former Gov. Mitt Romney. The company is ramping up its political-ad sales effort for the 2012 election cycle, when campaigns are projected to spend a record $6 billion.
Romney and Rick Perry are the only GOP hopefuls using promoted tweets right now, but you can bet next year they’ll be deployed up and down ballots everywhere.
Tweet dreams for Twitter, eh?