President Barack Obama changed campaign history by embracing social media in 2008. Now former Senator, Secretary of State, and First Lady Hilary Clinton has taken note and launched a full-court press of digital and social media for her own presidential effort.
In the time since her campaign formally cracked off, Clinton has taken to Twitter, of course, but also Snapchat, Spotify, Instagram, and now Periscope and even Genius. The decision by Clinton’s campaign to strike so many tech anvils at once led to one particular journalist to jokingly refer to her as “the first teen POTUS.”
But Clinton’s first presidential attempt was a markedly different story. The former First Lady couldn’t get MySpace right in her 2008 presidential bid. The kids may not remember this, but take it from someone who was there — MySpace was relevant then. Clinton’s MySpace page was poorly designed, all over the place, and she, presumably by accident, made herself her own best friend on the service. There was no Instagram, Spotify or Snapchat for Mrs. Clinton at the time.
Juxtapose that with Mrs. Clinton’s now full-throttle embrace of social media.
She’s in on the joke, playing with the meme and using the negs against her as subtweet material.
Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign goal, it appears, is to grab the attention of those voters she is unable to reach with more traditional television or radio work. And, of course, earned social media exposure can present a higher-ROI case than paid adverts on mediums where the audience is potentially aging and the young hew their own political direction.
There is some risk of saturation. President Obama’s campaign was criticized for the scale of email it sent during the last election. If candidate Clinton manages to use new tools not invented during her last campaign to reach new potential supporters, it’s a plus; but the same potential benefit comes linked directly to the potential for the campaign itself to overly-inundate its supporters who might find themselves staring down the barrel of related updates across various mediums that they picked as subscription points.