The 2016 Presidential Campaign Goes Social

The 2016 Election has definitely become all about Social Media.  In past presidential races candidates who took a more progressive and innovative approach toward campaigning were often criticized.  Candidates who were innovative in their approach toward campaigning were the winners in the end.

Franklin Roosevelt was one of the first innovators of his time with radio broadcasts, his fireside chats are legendary and were a game-changer.  He used the most cutting edge technology of the time to reach millions of people.

In 1960, when television was still considered a trend, John F. Kennedy used this tool to successfully reach out to millions of Americans.

Finally, who can forget Bill Clinton showing up on MTV to play his saxophone?  Directly targeting the younger voters on their turf, which at the time was unheard of and he changed the scope of campaigning by recognizing the youth of America.

Obama perfected using the internet in both of his campaigns.  He used email, online videos and some of the Social Media tools available at the time to create a game-changing new way to campaign.

In the 2016 Election the clear innovator is Donald Trump.  It is quite obvious he understands the power and the importance of this tool.

The Trump phenomenon flabbergasts pundits like me. We thought the billionaire was leaving the world of Entertainment, climbing over a wall and joining us in the sober domain of Politics. But in fact, the opposite happened. “Trump, The Entertainer” stayed exactly where he was. Instead, he pulled the political establishment over the wall and into HIS domain. The political class is now lost in the world of reality television and social media. Van Jones, CNN

On the other hand Clinton has yet to grasp the fact that Social Media is not just a digital billboard.  The Tweets and Facebook updates coming from the Clinton campaign are very controlled.  The messages are very campaign specific.

Trump goes completely off-script.  He Tweets what he thinks personally, he attacks, he rants and it is very apparent that it is actually Trump sitting behind the keyboard hammering out the Tweets most of the time.

In the past, these antics would have turned voters off and attacking individuals or ethnic groups would have scared voters away.  But in the new world of campaigning insulting people or saying something out of the ordinary will likely gain a candidate followers.



86% of online adults and 91% of millennials use Social Media.  These are the voters in the 2016 Election.  However, just “being there” and using Social Media is not enough.  The same rules for marketing a business apply to campaigning.  In order to effectively reach the voters, it is important to:

  • Be authentic (actually use the Social Sites as THEMSELVES.)
  • Be honest.
  • Provide more information than just expressing the platform.
  • Don’t just post campaign specific announcements.
  • Be interesting.
  • Provide information that your audience wants, not just what you want your audience to see.


Every presidential campaign and political era of the past has been influenced and shaped by the media of its time and this is now the new world of campaigning in 2016.

Laura Donovan Written by:

For nearly 10 years I have been helping businesses of all types use the power of social networks to achieve their marketing and sales goals. As a Social Media Director, Content Manager and Digital Media Marketer I have used a variety of platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. I focus on developing and executing a strategy that best fits each client while measuring and monitoring analytics and metrics to ensure benchmarks are met, researching industry trends as well as social influencers, working toward achieving SEO and branding through the appropriate social platforms, blogging, paid acquisition and email. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, experience with management, customer service, creativity and vision with strong analytic skills. I understand the platforms and their differences and know how to help a business succeed on Social Media and keep current on social marketing trends and best practices. I have enjoyed working with many different companies including Sharp Electronics, Mary Kay, Inc., Re/Max, Nationwide Insurance, State Farm, Northern Insurance and many more across the country. See more about the services my company offers at and connect with me: @LauraDonovan or @TheWordPro on Twitter, @TheWordPro on Instagram and like my Facebook Page at /TheWordPro Thanks for stopping by to read my blog!