Last week in class we focused on social media and it’s influence on transparency, campaigns and activism. There is no better example of using social media to influence a political campaign than taking a closer look at the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. These campaigns have provided new meaning to interacting with your supporters and have been toted as a game changer in how candidates interact with their supporters. Besides using tools such as twitter, Facebook and You Tube for rallying campaign support and relaying campaign messages, these tools also proved valuable when it comes to raking in the cash.

Why does social media work so well you may ask. According to MGD advertising, social media users tend to be more politically engaged. Its no wonder that campaign strategists are using social media tools when social network users are:

  • More politically engaged than non-social network users,
  •  Twice as likely to volunteer their time, four times more likely to encourage others to contact political representatives
  •  Five times more likely to recruit others to join their cause then offline supporters are

Social Media has provided a convenient “one stop shop” tool to support your favored candidate. While any candidate will certainly not turn the traditional check donation away, it appears that the $5.00 donation does make a difference.

These media tools have provided political candidates an avenue to utilize a new strategy to engage voters and tap into the pockets of the “small donor” In fact The 2008 Obama campaign provided a game changer in terms of reaching out to small donors.  Campaign leadership took advantage of this new strategy and. They played it smart and were strategic in assuring they had the staff capability to utilize the power of an online media campaign.

The “online office” for the 2008 Barack Obama political campaign was  and Supporters could give money, set up fundraising circles, post blog entries and even earn points to encourage additional involvement. These two online strategies proved to be the game changer for making social media the norm for future political campaigns.

Here is a link to a info-graphic that breaks down statistics of the 2008 Obama campaign and the use of social media tools for political fundraising.

Social media provides an easy, time saving, streamlined approach to making a donation.  While traditional methods will probably stick around there is definitely a future in using social media tools to finance campaigns.

Kelly Monson