Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Marketing Pro Ranks GOP Hopefuls' Social Efforts

Social media branding is a must-have for today's presidential hopefuls, so how are the leading GOP contenders doing from a purely marketing standpoint? A recent MarketingProfs article by Jeremy Page, a network marketing blogger, provides one political outsider's ranking of the top six Republican presidential candidates based just on social media marketing performance. You may not agree with the rankings, but there are lessons worth gleaning. For example, Page puts Jeb Bush at the tail end of GOP contenders based on a lackluster social media presence (just 363,000 Twitter followers) and policy-oriented posts that create a persona without emotional resonance. Social media, especially Twitter, "isn't the place to be overly sensible and pragmatic," warns Page. Marco Rubio comes in fifth place with his strategy of keeping an uncontentious, low profile while building a social following (over 1 million Twitter followers). Page urges Rubio to do more to reinforce his brand as a "candidate of the people" with retweets and posts that leverage "your community for your social media content." Fourth place is awarded to long-shot Carly Fiorina for using social media to push a persona of openness, showcasing her willingness to answer questions via Q&As on niche, real-time streaming platforms like Periscope, for example. Ted Cruz gets a No. 3 position for an innovative digital strategy that stresses crowdfunding and gamification. Via Cruz Crowd, followers can recruit friends to join a personal Cruz Crowd donation page and then monitor money raised via Facebook and Twitter, plus earn game badges. With the competitive Cruz Crew app, players earn points based on actions to spread the word. Ben Carson is No. 2 thanks to his use of Facebook to leverage 4.6 million fans (compared with Hillary Clinton's 1.5 million and Trump's 3.8 million Facebook followers) via heartfelt long-form letters, plus polls and petitions to collect e-mail addresses. At the top of the heap is (no surprise) Donald Trump, who presents his tax plan on Periscope, hosts #AskTrump Q&As, and rallies fans on Facebook and Twitter with unfiltered "real" posts that keep him constantly in the media spotlight (for free). Page's takeaway: "Use social media to be controversial and troll the media." For more, see http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/29033/ranking-gop-presidential-candidates-according-to-digital-strategy

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