Social Media – the real frontrunner in the 2012 presidential race?

Social Icing

Social media marketing is taking over the 2012 campaign trailSource: socialtechpop.com

We know, we know…the 2012 presidential race is still a long way off. Yet already, political commentators and pundits are predicting candidates and stoking the rumor mill as Republicans search for the strongest opponent to incumbent Obama.

According to NPR journalist Ari Shapiro, the strongest force in the race thus far is Obama’s re-election campaign: but a huge component of its power is the social-media driven strategy that played such a major role in the 2008 campaign…and that contenders across the board will have to imitate for a chance at success in next year’s race.

Think that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube couldn’t possibly change the face of the tradition-bound body politic?

Think again.

Winning the presidency? Yup, there just might be an app for that

Shapiro posits that social media, while still just “a means to an end,” will nevertheless have more power than ever before as 2012 campaigns take flight.

After all, Sarah Palin already has half a million Twitter followers; Mitt Romney announced his presidential exploratory committee via web video; Obama launched his re-election campaign with a YouTube video; and for the first time in American history, digital innovations like canvassing apps for the iPhone and iPad will be a key factor in the public and political impressions forged on the campaign trail.

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project, believes that “for even the most traditional kinds of actors to be nimble in these [social media] spaces, it’s mostly going to depend on their willingness to exploit these new tools and their interest in going into places where the outcomes aren’t necessarily well understood.”

To boldly go where no campaign has gone before…

We’re not really in the business of spearheading political discussion. But we were intrigued to see even presidential hopefuls – and the current president himself – acknowledging the essential nature of social media marketing for 21st century success.

Now, you may not be looking to get your name on the 2012 ticket (though if you are, more power to you!) But if you’re a small business owner and you’d like to be a “nimble” player in the social media sphere, a social media marketing firm can help you get in the game.

Presidential hopefuls have come to understand that social media marketing is the key to broad connections, widespread communication and conversation with constituents. And the cookie crumbles the same way for small business: if you want to get the word out about your legal practice, flower shop, local bakery or new invention, social media is where it’s at.

Of course, just because you’re not the President of the United States doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefit of a fully managed social media network (that’s right: the president doesn’t have time to constantly update his own Twitter feed, and neither do you). So pass the job on to the experts here at Social Icing – and then get back to building the business you love.

Written by Ruth Fine

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