While this email is arriving in your inbox, the United States will be voting for their next President.
In one of the longest campaigns for the White House, the final two parties have given masterclasses in social media – relying heavily on various platforms, live streaming and interactive exchanges with voters to expand their reach across the nation, some examples have been engaging and useful, other examples have been disastrous.
At home, Australian politicians have more frequently come to use social media to disseminate information, and it can build popularity, as was the case with the NSW Premier Mike Baird, applauded for his open communication and his Bachelorette updates, only to fall prey to trolls as the popularity of his political office wanes.
It seems some difficulty arises when people are representing an overarching brand. Donald Trump is the key representative of the Trump Party, who in turn represents the Republican Party and therefore, supposedly, all Republicans. So when he takes to Twitter at 3am, ranting on the television media’s inconsistencies, sex tapes and disgusting women, it is hard to imagine that he reading from the preferred Republican script. Claims that Trump was angry and drunk when he sent the tweets where rejected by the candidate himself, instead he said the early morning work should assure American’s he will be ‘awake to the take THE call’.
Clinton, who has seen the birth of social media, while in the Whitehouse, has taken a more traditional route, one that has been labelled by some an inauthentic and boring. Both Donald and Hillary have agreed on one thing, encouraging the use of social to fact check their opponent – perhaps most sensationally when Mrs Trump was exposed reciting large chunks of rally speech, previously delivered by the outgoing first lady Mrs Obama.
When considering brand ambassadors across social media, it is necessary to consider how to plan and research the content of posts to achieve their aim. It is also important to remember that once posted, that opinion is associated to the brand forever, and the internet will also find the tweet, video or status update just when you don’t want them too. It is also advisable not to tweet at 3am, you risk it being misinterpreted as a drunk rant or that you are available to take calls.