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E-Advocacy: Social Media as a Campaign Tool

By Rachel L. West
The Political Social Worker

There is no denying the role social media played in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.  Much has been said and written about the Obama campaigns ability to leverage technology in the past two presidential elections to their advantage. As Dr. Pamela Rutledge put it:

“Like JFK was the first president who really understood television, Obama is the first social media president. In 2012, Obama not only had the expertise on his team, he had an established social media machine up and running.  Since social media is about relationships, having a running start building those connections is a distinct benefit.” (Source)

Social media is changing the way campaigns operate in the same way television did more than fifty years ago. Below Mark McNally breaks down the ten key lessons the Obama’s social media campaign taught us about the use of social networking.

Social Media helped the Obama team bring in around $690 million dollars in funds, most of which came from small donations solicited via email, the campaign website, and by mobile. (source).  Beyond fundraising social networking sites like Face Book and Twitter enabled the Obama campaign to connect with and recruit large numbers of dedicated volunteers.   Technology also made it possible for the campaign to organize a tight ground game that was especially useful during the final get out the vote push on Election Day.

In the coming weeks we will be taking a look at some of the technology used by campaigns.  As always feel free to give feedback in the comment section below.

photo credit: fredcavazza via photopin cc

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.

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