Cementing Social Media's Place in the Campaign World

Article excerpt


At Facebook, we're convinced the revolution has just begun.

Politics and governing in the United States have always been social. Long before people started connecting with each other online they were meeting in town squares, coffee shops and around water coolers to discuss important issues of the day. From Paul Revere's "midnight ride" to whistle-stop tours made famous by Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, our country has always cherished the act of meeting, talking and organizing.

By expanding the sphere of engagement and fostering a genuine dialogue between politicians and constituents, social media carries on the tradition of inclusive political debate in America. Interactivity with candidates- a privilege once reserved for high-level donors and political insiders - is now an expectation of voters and a priority for campaigns.

In 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama leaned heavily on social media to build a movement behind his candidacy, it was hailed as groundbreaking. Now, nearly every single candidate for public office is harnessing social media's power.

Today we're witnessing candidates like Senate hopeful Ted Cruz in Texas defeat better-funded opponents in part thanks to their savvy use of Facebook and the Internet to interact with voters, raise money and push voters to the polls.

Over the past four years, the Facebook Politics & Government Team has focused on continuing the evolution in the electoral sphere, and now almost every aspect of the political environment has become more social.

The Washington D.C. office started in late 2007 with just one person, Adam Conner, who was tasked with the job of introducing Facebook to elected officials and candidates. In 2011, the team scaled up as we prepared for the Republican presidential nomination battle and the general election season.

We've found that our team works best with candidates, campaigns and elected officials through partnerships. Our office does a significant amount of outreach to show them how effectively they're reaching their intended audience and shares some smart tactics (such as posting more photos or images between 9-iopm). …