As this year’s Presidential election draws nearer, many Americans are wondering just what they’ve learned from all the months of political ads, robo-calls, mailings, and print ads. What we’ve learned about marketing, on the other hand, may be pretty significant.
In September, the folks over at TechCrunch posted an interesting story about the creative use of social media they observed. The focus of the article wasn’t on politics—it was on the role that technology (specifically social media) is playing in the campaign. You can read the whole article here, but we’re going to pull out a couple of tidbits for your consideration.
President Barack Obama managed to steal an impressive amount of Gov. Mitt Romney’s press coverage with a few, cheap social media tricks, including the most retweeted post of the convention. In comparison to the Republican National Convention’s all-out multi-million dollar conservative carnival, Obama made front page Google News with dramatically less effort and at no cost with three clever social media projects: answering questions from Reddit users for 30 minutes, tweeting “This seat’s taken” in response to Clint Eastwoods silly stand-up routine (51K retweets), and releasing the White House beer recipe. Sure, Obama has the spotlight advantage because he’s the President, but it goes to show that all the money and staging in the world can’t compete with cleverness.
[T]eam Obama managed to get an inordinate amount of traditional and online coverage with a few novelty social media actions. The first presidential “Ask Me Anything” on the popular news aggregate site, Reddit, racked up a whopping 5 million views for just 30 minutes of the President’s time.
What’s this got to do with you and your marketing efforts?
The point of all of this is that you have tools at your disposal that allow you to react quickly and powerfully when it’s appropriate. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t carefully plan out your marketing efforts. There are times, however, when being nimble and flexible can pay big dividends. Sometimes in business you are faced with narrow windows of opportunity that are really significant.
It’s also significant that it wasn’t the amount of money spent that was important. It was all about timing and (especially with what happened on Reddit) giving people answers to their questions.
Make sure that social media—with great content—is part of your platform!