Wanna Get Elected? Better Get on Twitter!

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My, how things have changed in Campaign Land. Six months ago, social media marketing specialists were predicting that if a presidential hopeful was going to get elected, he was going to have to turn himself into a brand on Facebook. As the race heats up, however, the media has turned all eyes on Twitter. In other words, the leader of the free world better embrace hashtags and Twitpics — or be prepared to watch the title go to somebody who already has.

An article from the Associated Press spread like wildfire on Monday and made the little hearts of Twitter marketing mavens go pitter pat. In it, reporter Beth Fouhy points to the jump in tweets posted by presidential hopefuls.

“While relatively few voters are on Twitter — a study by the Pew Research Center found that about 13 percent of American adults have joined the site — it’s become an essential tool for campaigns to test-drive themes and make news with a group of politically-wired ‘influencers’ who process and share those messages with the broader world,” Fouhy writes.

Basically, Twitter is the focus group before the big splashy campaign commercials hit the airwaves and a great way to test the waters on how the American public feels about hot topics. Obama, an active Twitter user, has even called on voters to speak out using Tweets at recent rallies. Mitt Romney and wife Ann use Twitter to help followers get to know the family and learn about their background and views.

Both campaigns, like most businesses on Twitter, have truly benefited from the platform’s lightening-fast reach. No other social media marketing site has posts that quickly become national news like Twitter. Twitter has become a supplement to newswires and is quoted everywhere from NPR to People magazine. Sure, everybody in the world may be on Facebook — but the political world pays attention to Twitter. And every brand can benefit from that kind of power.

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