Social Media is Changing How Candidates Garner Support

6 Jan

The days before the Internet are about as inconceivable as the time before TV remote controls were used and Henry Ford’s invention of the car. When something becomes such an integral part of our everyday life, it somehow seems that it was always there. The same feels true concerning the upcoming 2012 presidential election and the use of social media and the internet. How in the world did candidates share their opinions, platforms and garner funds without this vital piece of technology?

There is one Republican presidential candidate who is truly using this resource to its potential. In fact, the Internet is probably the main factor contributing to the fact that he is still in the running to be the next president. Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, is putting all of his eggs into this digital basket. Alex Fitzpatrick writes on Mashable that “The first move the campaign made was hire a social media firm to create its website. Roemer’s team has been actively building an online team of supporters called ‘Free to Lead,’ which Sierra calls the campaign’s ‘online army.’”

“Online is the most important part of our campaign,” Campaign Manager Carlos Sierra says. This certainly seems to be the case since “the Governor’s campaign is unlike that of any other Republican presidential hopefuls. As a staunch supporter of campaign finance reform, he’s refusing donations from Super PACs and he has limited contributions to $100 per individual. A whopping 98% of Roemer’s donations were made online.

“Roemer’s team has spent virtually all its advertising budget on digital ads, eschewing traditional media with the exception of radio (Roemer is using Fundly, an online donation tool, to raise money for more radio airtime,” explains Fitzpatrick.

Roemer is also creatively using Twitter and YouTube to gain a following. On Twitter “So far 121 people have donated their accounts, allowing his campaign to tweet through their accounts daily to 62,664 unique followers” and he is streaming a bunch of videos on YouTube.

It will be fascinating to see how Roemer’s efforts using technology and popular social media networks will impact his progress in the current campaign and how it will impact future fundraising. Fundly is excited to be a resource used by Roemer and we strive to create the best online products for all of our clients, whether they are in the political or philanthropic arenas.

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