Measuring Success in Social Media

The emergence of social media has provided business, organizations, and politic groups with a cost effective and powerful marketing resource. It allows users to post instantaneously and personalize their campaigns with ease; and while social media provides users with an array of options, it is up to the user to develop their own social media strategy. Once they have developed a strategy they must determine how effective their campaign is.

We learned in the Karpf reading about the different measurements that are used in determining social media impact and presence – strategic and tactical measurements (Karpf). The correct use of these measurements in addition to being aware of those on social media aided the presidential campaign for Obama in 2008. In knowing that social media is one of the main sources for those under 30 in obtaining political information (Neilsen), the Obama campaign knew that needed to included information in social media in as many ways as they could. In knowing that those over 30 are using social media more and more for information (Neilsen), the Obama campaign was able to understand the importance and weight that a strong social media campaign can have on an election process.

Many will argue that strong social media presence is essential to an effective political campaign, while others would say it is just another campaigning tool. My question is – do you feel you can have a successful campaign if you target user under 30, users over 30, or both? Do you think that political social media campaigns can use their target audiences and strategic and tactical measurements to be successful, or is there more to it?

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3 Responses to Measuring Success in Social Media

  1. alfein says:

    I think that you raise a good question here at the end of your post. I believe that to have the best chance at a successful campaign you need to target users both over 30 and under 30, however you need to be aware that they should be targeted in different ways. The interactions that these two groups have with social media differs greatly with their familiarity with the medium and their comfortableness. This is similar to what the Obama campaign did, as you mentioned above, knowing that users over 30 use social media for more an information basis while users under 30 focused more towards a personal need and quick information. Using this information they were able to have a more successful campaign, and I think that other campaign teams need to keep this in mind when creating their social media parades. The way to be successful with a social media campaign is to be strategic and smart about who you are targeting, and in what ways.

  2. zkanters says:

    Due to the fact that people using social media is about 50% under 30 and 50% over 30, it would be a huge mistake not to target both sets of users. As someone in the younger generation, it’s very clear to me that the uses of social networking sites between the age groups are very different, which must be noted by the campaign group. There has to be a much different approach among the groups. In addition, social networking can only go so far. For both age groups, I think it has to be balanced with personal appearances and other types of events. This will give more of a tactical measurement rather than a purely tactical measurement form the amount of “likes” or comments they recieve from their social networking tactics. Therefore, I believe while social networking is an extremely valuable method of reaching potential voters, it is more of a campaigning tool than a political campaign.

  3. jmclancy says:

    I certainly think that there are many elements to a campaign. Social media, though one of the world’s largest media outlets today, is just one of those elements. Had Obama not used social media as well as he did, I cannot be certain that he would win. He not only successfully targeted those over and under 30, but reached out to them in a way that connects with their age demographic specifically. In my opinion, to run an effective and successful campaign, it is critical that a candidate reach out to everyone- no matter how old or young the individual is. I think every audience is crucial to pinpoint when running a campaign. Overall, Obama ran one of the best marketing campaigns we have ever seen in history and I believe he created a phenomenon in the social media realm- something Howard Dean did not.

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