According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 10 percent of Americans are using their smartphones as their only form of high speed internet. The survey goes on to offer more statistics. The number of registered voters using their smartphone to keep up with politics has grown from 13 percent in 2010 to 28 percent in 2014, and that number continues to rise. The number of people over the age of 55 that are using mobile technology has also grown to nearly 75 percent. So clearly, the next battleground for your vote is your phone, and campaign professionals all over the country know it.
There was proven success using mobile technology during President Barak Obama’s elections in both 2008 and 2012. Both text messaging and social media was used, proving to be a big success with the voting public. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was Obama’s biggest competition, and her campaign was far less digitally competitive. Perhaps that is why Clinton didn’t make it past the primaries. However, this year she’s not taking any chances, as you’ve probably already noticed a much bigger mobile presence by the Clinton campaign. Part of that success is due to the fact that she hired Teddy Goff to lead her team, who just happened to run the digital strategy for Obama during his 2012 campaign.
So what can you expect? As an article by Politico points out, smartphones are guaranteed to change the face of the presidential election in 2016. Over the next year, you’re likely to see more political ads on your phones than on your television. Or at least just as many. You’ll see social networks like Facebook and Twitter also bring a lot of political advertising your way, and there will be new ways in which to interact with your candidates on social media. It’s good news in a lot of ways, as you’ll see shorter advertisements online instead of those long television ads. Six and eight second videos on social media have been growing and are very effective in reaching a large audience.
You’ll also find responding to political ads and messaging easier than ever before, as campaign managers are now able to tailor political messaging to voters. Thanks to social media, they can find a very specific audience and connect in a far more efficient way. As people are using their smart phones more and more as their main source of news and entertainment, politics will continue to find ways to embrace that technology to reach more voters. So, be prepared to see a totally new type of election this season. No matter who wins this one, at least it’s sure to be interesting.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse