Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Protect Your Online Reputation

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5 social media questions 2012 will answer

The 2012 race marks the first time a new type of high-level campaign staffer — the digital director — had a seat in the top tier of the presidential campaigns as well as most major congressional races.

In the case of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, theirs were senior staffers with significantly more input than ever before and multimillion-dollar budgets. Nearly every major Senate race had a prominent social media guru, too.

After Tuesday, the political world will start looking back to see how it worked and what might change next time.

Here are five burning questions to be answered once the votes are counted:

Was social media worth the hype?

Tweets per minute and Facebook likes are dandy, but what does it all add up to? Future campaigns need to learn whether the use of social networking — sponsored ads, advocacy campaigns, peer pressure from Facebook “friends” — helped deliver votes.

The raw statistics may take a while to nail down. But the key for campaign operatives is whether the tactics were effective and whether the right amount of effort and money was invested in social.

“We digital people have shouted from the mountaintops that we should be more important,” said Vincent Harris, digital campaign manager for Republicans Linda McMahon, Allen West and Ted Cruz. “So did we get just enough, did we get too much? Did the proper percentage of the budget go to digital this cycle? Did the digital industry get what they wished for and did they spend it well?”

Conversely, Harris wonders whether there is such a thing as overkill. “What is the point of saturation?” he said. “How many times does something need to go before someone before it breaks through? Google and Facebook don’t have answers to that. They just know they want the candidates’ money.”  Read More


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