WASHINGTON — While Democrats prepared for a presidential debate on Saturday night with a focus on foreign policy and national security, Republican presidential candidates quickly turned the deadly attacks in Paris into political attacks
On Friday and Saturday, several GOP candidates offered their condolences to the French people while also calling on restrictions on the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States and a more aggressive U.S. approach to combating terrorists overseas.
“President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America is nothing less than lunacy,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News on Saturday. “It makes no sense whatsoever for us to be bringing in refugees who our intelligence can not determine if they are terrorists here to kill us or not.” Read more…
With the upcoming US presidential race being a hot topic in the United States right now, it’s no wonder that the main runners and their teams are piling a lot of effort into effective social media marketing. To get to the heartlands you need to ensure that your social media is doing a good job.
We’re going to take a look at the social media accounts of the candidates for the two main parties in the race, and work out how they are doing when it comes to engagement. Does social help with politics? Yes, undoubtedly. Is it easy to get right? Well, judging from what we found, no.
The two parties have a number of people currently running for president, but the Republicans have more candidates going for the top job. There are some big names in the Democrat pack, including former First Lady Hillary Clinton, and the Republicans have a couple of interesting characters, such as Donald Trump (who while seen as an outsider has an overwhelming presence).
On Twitter she is pretty much an icon, with nearly 4.5 million followers and an incredible header image that shows her with one of the many adoring crowds she has spoken in front of recently. Notice how she has a bio that also has humour in it (‘pantsuit aficionado’), which is a sign of a confident brand.
The wife of Bill has a very strong feminist agenda (we have to admit we are more than a little excited at the possibility of a female president) and a clear image that screams intelligence and history in the making potential. Lots of candid photos, and (unsurprisingly) plenty of footage of her fans praising her, famous and otherwise.
On Instagram, Hillary is doing the right thing all the way, with images of her with the electorate, and pictures of inspirational figures. As you’d expect it’s all very much on message, and a visual campaign speech essentially.
This is a very strong brand, and it’s confident too. As you build your following on Twitter, enjoy humour, and stick to tweeting about your brand message(s). For Hillary, it’s all about women and historical significance. She’s possibly waiting in the shadows of a major moment in time, and that comes across in her branding on Twitter.
For a business, the message here is to consider how you can structure a brand message through the content you deliver. Huge on customer service? Get that across in your tweets. Got quality nailed? Tweet reviews.
Just like Hillary, stick to what you’re known for. And what you are building.
Lawrence Lessig: His star is rising
Lessig’s Twitter account is not run by him but he assures everyone that he does write each tweet. That shows commitment to his brand through the words that he uses. He means what he says and he’s trying to boost his brand.
The Twitter account is pretty solid stuff too. Retweets are used to push the brand and to open up debate on the platform. In fact there are significantly more retweets than tweets, but his tweets are focused, on-brand and more effective for their scarcity.
The problem is Lessig is struggling to get noticed in the race. But with two major figures dropping out in the last few days alone, his star is rising. However, he has a Facebook page that is curiously personal, with pictures of his family rather than anything really presidential.
His Twitter profile is the real deal here. His constant retweeting and his focus on ensuring that he keeps moving things forward with regular content on the platform means that he has a news and campaign focus. He knows that when it comes to the wire, the average American will be looking for up to the minute news on Lessig and his thoughts.
And that’s what they get.
Lessig is only now gaining traction because other runners have dropped out. The quiet, unassuming man will probably be eaten alive by Clinton, but his social media presence on Twitter plays beautifully to the needs of his audience. Whatever Clinton says about him, she can’t complain about that.
Jeb Bush: Plenty to smile about
Arguably the frontrunner, and with the most support from his party, Mr Bush has plenty to smile about. A former Florida Governor, and brother to ‘Dubya’, he has plenty of funding too, with the largest (apart from a certain Mr Trump) war chest for the campaign ahead. So how does that translate into social media output?
He uses Twitter like a real pro. Video and imagery are everywhere, and we were really impressed by the video aspects. There is a good use of the medium here, with inspiring and combative videos that really set out his stall for the race. He also manages to slip in a video of him making more sense than his Democratic rival, Mrs Clinton. All great campaign stuff, and an excellent use of video as a dynamic tool on Twitter.
An interesting slant on this comes with his Instagram profile.
He does all the soon-to-be-president stuff like photos of him talking to crowds and the common people, but there’s also some rather neat images of the towns and cities he’s visited. It’s like a bit of a travelogue. Bush wants to show he is the everyman in touch with the country he wants to lead, and this comes through in some exquisite images of parts of the United States. This taps directly into his ability to connect with Americans. He lives in America and wants to lead it. It’s very clever. He’s got Instagram locked down.
By showing people himself in the presidential role, he has plenty of great marketing here. But the idea of tapping into what his audience respect and identify with is useful for a business to consider. What values do your customers and clients hold? How can you show these values and convey them in your social media?
Donald Trump: Personal and slightly aggressive
Donald Trump is a master of self-promotion and marketing. This is why he is such an interesting part of the presidential race. And let’s not forget he’s acting like a frontrunner, whether he is one or not.
He is also the most honest and slightly uncomfortable (for us, not for him) candidate on Twitter. He doesn’t hold back and is writing his own tweets (except for when he blames a “young intern” for an offensive tweet). For that reason he is not a great example to businesses who want to have his kind of branding.
People love Trump because he is Trump. But his Twitter is exactly what businesses should not be doing. He’s personal, and he’s slightly aggressive.
On Instagram he’s equally bullish, using the platform to dish out dirt on other candidates (with good use of video though) and show how he’s incredibly handsome and strong-jawed. We’re not making this up, Donald has always been a bit of a narcissist, and uses Instagram to show his handsome face more than anything else.
Don’t do what Donald does if you want to run successful social media accounts for your business. Spread a positive message that builds a brand. The weird thing about Donald Trump is that his brand relies on this type of behaviour. If he has a chance at the Big Job (which he may well have), it will be because America wants a bruiser.
Your business is not and never should be a bruiser on social media.
Four candidates, and a nice mix of social media styles
So there we have it. Four candidates, and a nice mix of social media styles. For the Democrats you have Hillary with ‘my staff do social for me’, and Lessig with ‘the news and campaign focus’. On the Republican side, Jeb Bush is mastering social media like a pro. And Trump is using it as a boxing ring (and we wouldn’t expect anything less).
An award-winning writer and content marketer, Sahail is the owner of Talented Content, a content marketing company based in Devon, England. Sahail used to be a teacher, but gave all that up so he could concentrate on creating effective content marketing campaigns for clients around the world. You can find… View full profile ›