By Shama Hyder, Founder and CEO, Marketing Zen Group
With the final presidential debate behind us, and Election Day right around the corner, it may seem like the candidates no longer have the time or the platform to make any significant changes in the trajectory of their campaigns. With mere days to go before the nation votes, how many more people can Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton realistically hope to connect with? And with no more nationally televised events to make even the relatively uninterested pay attention, how can either candidate hope to spread their message any further?
But these constraints don’t mean it’s time to start winding down the campaigns – on the contrary, they call for a simple pivot in strategy, and a renewed focus on the digital marketing aspects of campaigning.
We’ve already seen some of the effects that social media can have in an election – now is the time for both campaigns to use that medium to its fullest potential in order to reach the most people possible in the short time remaining. Social media is unique in that it allows personal, one-on-one connections to be made – on a worldwide stage with countless others watching. That intersection of personal and public makes it possible for both Trump and Hillary to make more of these last few days of their campaigns than they ever could using conventional tactics alone.
1. Double down on the online branding and messaging of the campaign.
Only so many people can attend the remaining rallies and town hall meetings – but anyone can check out Facebook or Twitter for a quick take on each candidate’s views. In these last few days before the election, each campaign should be restating their key messages and highlighting their candidate’s overall “brand” via their social media posts in a way that makes it easy for anyone to understand at a glance what each one stands for.
2. Focus on the digital channels where key demographic groups congregate.
Now is not the time to try out new social media platforms or spread efforts too thin trying to reach new voters on every possible online channel. Instead, the campaigns should use analytics to determine which of their digital platforms has been most successful in reaching the main demographics they are hoping to connect with, and boost their activity on those platforms alone with laser-like focus.
3. Develop and maintain meaningful connections online.
Shaking hands in a coffee shop is great – but connecting with individuals on social media will get Hillary and Trump a lot more traction when it comes to votes. Interacting with people on social media in a genuine way virtually guarantees candidates a flurry of shares within that person’s online network, and boosts their appeal in the eyes of everyone else watching, as well.
In these last few days before Decision 2016, both candidates still have plenty of opportunities to add to their followings. By harnessing the power of social media marketing, they can make every moment of the countdown to Election Day count.