The Social Media Toolbox in 2012
It’s already started: Who’s going to have the best website in the next presidential race? Who’s going to try to “outdo” President Obama’s online and social media communities in 2012?
The blogs and social media experts around the country are already predicting that all campaigns---from the presidential level to the local level---will pour tons of time, money and resources into engaging voters, supporters, funders and opinion leaders, in the coming elections.
Today, we received an email from the folks running presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty’s online campaign. They have developed a new tool for their candidate to use in the social media ecosystem, and to stimulate conversations across multiple channels.
We expect to see many new “tools” like this one in the next year. But as we always tell our clients, using a tool, like Facebook or Twitter, or Vimeo or YouTube, is just that---a tool.
Every campaign needs a strategy that integrates online conversations and efforts, with offline traditional methods. Moreover, campaigns must connect with voters in authentic, creative and engaging ways. Don’t expect supporters and voters to flock to you just because you tweet something funny, or post your event and fundraiser on Facebook.
You need to be real, and need to think like a voter in order to convert him or her to do something offline in the campaign (like volunteer, or most importantly, vote for you).
Some of the tools that we will see develop in the next few months, and up to Election Day in 2012, will be helpful and useful. Some tools will be carried over into the corporate and social media branding world (much like after the 2008 presidential campaign). But it’s the integration---traditional and new communications, along with a good message and solid grassroots effort---that will carry the day for successful campaigns.
What do you think? What new and emerging uses of social media do you expect in the coming months?