Social media is increasingly being used for marketing and promotion purposes. The National Trust, a registered charity which looks after historic properties and special places across the UK, has recognised the power of social media and is using new technologically-inspired marketing activities to increase the ‘shareability’ of its messages. This broadens the Trust’s reach beyond existing members.
Social media is also a key element in the US presidential campaign. President Barack Obama has enjoyed a surge in Facebook ‘likes’, thanks to a co-ordinated social media campaign. President Obama’s page received more than one million ‘likes’ in a single day – compared with about 30,000 per day in earlier weeks. (BBC, 10th October 2012)
In 2008, President Obama’s campaign was praised for its innovative use of social media to engage young, often first-time, voters. This time around, both President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have invested in getting good placement on both Facebook and Twitter – with campaign teams placing ads that appear whenever a certain word, such as ‘debate’, is searched for by a user.
Both presidential campaigns would have hoped that swamping the digital world with their ‘message’ was a sure-fire election hit. However, research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania suggested a different picture.
Of 1,503 internet-using American adults surveyed by the university’s school of communications, 86% said they did not want to receive political messages tailored for them and 70% said seeing ads from a candidate they already supported would in fact decrease their chance of voting for them.
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