As the presidential campaign trail continues to heat up, candidates will obsess over every detail of their campaign. In today’s modern era social media presents candidates with an all access pass into the lives of potential voters. However, utilizing the power that is social media is not as simple as it sounds, and thanks to the social media monitoring company Brandwatch we can now see how each presidential candidate is being represented and discusses on social media.
So here is my giant asterisk… While a little over 70% of social media content relating to Sen. Bernie Sanders after the Iowa caucus was positive, a few presidential candidates are having problems with receiving beneficial social media coverage. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has not had problems with overall social media activity; she has however had more negative comments than positive in the past three months.
Brandwatch determined that despite finishing a close second to Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders finished in first place when it came positive social media mentions. Now I know what you are thinking, “How is Bernie Sanders, the 74 year old Senator from Vermont winning the social media race?” While it is unlikely that Senator Sanders is tweeting and posting his way to a top social media profile, he is doing the best he can, and you know what? It’s working.
The first explanation to Bernie’s social media fame is that despite his age, Bernie Sanders is the candidate of younger generations. The millennials needed a candidate that would speak for them on issues that directly impacted their lives. Sen. Sanders has done just that, by campaigning for issues like free healthcare, and cheaper education. Social media is the main form of communication for many millennials working away from home, or off at college. Due to that characteristic, the millennials position themselves as demographic accessible through social media. On college campuses across the nation Sen. Sanders has created a community of support in university students hoping for a change in the U.S.’s growing student-debt problem.
Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming social media success can also be attributed to celebrity endorsements on multiple mediums. Rapper, Killer Mike of politically influenced rap duo Run the Jewels, recently sat down with Senator Bernie Sanders in an Atlanta barbershop to discuss and compare political views. Killer Mike shared the six-episode interview segment on his YouTube channel; the videos has now been viewed over 600,000 times and grows daily. In the interview Killer Mike takes a moment to thank Senator Sanders on responding to his tweet, and agreeing to meet and film this interview with him. By putting in “extra” effort and choosing to meet with a popular social figure, Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing his ideals and campaign across mediums previously unused by presidential candidates.
So as candidates continue to utilize social media in their campaigns, candidates should learn what not to do from Hillary, and take notes as Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to write the book on social media campaigns.
And, I’ll just leave this right here…