Photo Credit: pexel
Over the past four presidential election cycles, social media has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.” In today’s current environment, having the right social media strategy can literally mean the difference between winning and losing an election.
In the 2024 presidential election, social media is likely to play a crucial role in winning over voters. Already, the Biden Administration has put together a campaign war room on social media, and this could become the template for other candidates looking to unseat the incumbent. But will this digital war room approach actually work?
President Joe Biden and social media
Earlier this year, the Biden campaign launched a “BidenHQ” presence on several social media platforms. Already, @BidenHQ has gained 244,000 followers on X.com. The guiding principle of this campaign war room is that “more is more.” Simply stated, the Biden campaign team plans to crank out content and distribute it as widely as possible.
As part of this strategy, the Biden campaign has made “going viral” a prime objective. Reaching the core base of supporters is great, but the Biden team seems to be far more interested in reaching the masses. And, indeed, several pieces of content produced by the Biden campaign war room have already gone viral, including a video featuring Biden antagonist Marjorie Taylor Greene (“MTG”).
The Biden campaign war room is also focusing on social media influencers. The idea is simple: chop up complex issues into bite-sized pieces of content, distribute it to key influencers, and let them make that content go viral. Of all the candidates, the Biden team seems to have the most comprehensive influencer strategy.
Are campaign war rooms doing everything wrong?
The problem, however, is that the Biden campaign team appears to be doing everything wrong. They are breaking all the rules of a good social media strategy. For example, according to the Biden team, it’s all about pushing out as much content as possible. Since it’s impossible to know when something will go viral, the idea is just to crank up the content machine to max capacity and see if anything sticks. This seems to go against all the best practices of social media, which says that trying to go viral is a fool’s errand and that social media shouldn’t mean spamming users with content, the way you might with email.
Moreover, there’s also something very forced and disingenuous about the Biden social media presence. The profile for the page features an image of Joe Biden with red laser eyes, together with a slogan that reads: “Malarkey ends here.” This is a clear reference to the old-fashioned, folksy term that Biden popularized, combined with some kind of “Dark Brandon” reference with those laser eyes. But, again, this seems to go against social media best practices. The goal should be to appear as real and genuine as possible.
Can social media really go viral and win over voters?
There are two ways to think about Joe Biden’s social media strategy for 2024. One is that it might just be big enough and slick enough to win over key demographic voting groups, such as young Millennials or members of Generation Z. The other way of thinking, though, is that the focus on “going viral” is a sure sign of panic. With no message really seeming to work, and no breakthrough in the polls visible on the horizon, the Biden team seems to be desperately looking for something that resonates with voters.
Will other campaign war rooms follow this example? We’ll soon find out when the election season heats up next year. But for now, I’m not convinced that “going viral” is the best strategy for any political candidate, regardless of party affiliation.