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Shareablee has just published an early social media scorecard on the 2016 Presidential race. Not surprisingly, as the sole Democratic candidate and with huge name recognition coming in, Hillary Clinton has an almost two-to-one edge over the top of the GOP pack.
More interesting – supposedly of all the GOP putative candidates, Ted Cruz has had by far the biggest effort on social media to-date and I guess it shows (he tops the GOP list). But I saw a political consultant on TV the other day saying “what candidates need to do is reach and engage with their core constituencies on social media”. Maybe that’s part of it (especially in the primaries), but the real genius of Obama’s campaigns was to segment the social graph, identify a whole series of special interest groups, and then offer goodies (specific, tailored promises) to each one. Although the political rhetoric is always about “unite”, “work together”, etc, the reality is this data-driven divide-and-conquer strategy used by the Obama campaign managers is the same technique used by all 21st C mass marketers (in concert with mass media/branding efforts). Because it works.
So if GOP is going to compete with that, they may need some new social media consultants in order to get a better shot at winning the general election. It is quite possible that social media will determine who wins in 2016…it’s become that important.