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donald trump
hillary clinton
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social media presidential campaign

Social Media a Unique Battleground in the Presidential Campaign

July 29, 2016

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting the potential importance of social media to the current American presidential campaign. It pointed out that the two major party candidates are employing noticeably different styles of engagement, but it stopped short of drawing a conclusion as to which of them would prove to be more effective. That question will apparently have to be resolved in November, if it is resolved at all.

In the meantime social media companies in Los Angeles, in New York, and in all places in between will have to make their own determination as to which alternative will be more worth emulating if they find themselves managing accounts for candidates to either local or national office. Furthermore, the political successes of certain social media styles will probably convey lessons that local social media companies throughout the country can apply to their commercial clients, as well.

In all likelihood, and regardless of which candidate wins in November, there are merits to both of their styles, which can be applied to different situations, on different platforms, and to different audiences. Donald Trump’s personal and off-the-cuff tweets display the same blustery persona that has made him popular among a major segment of the American population. Hillary Clinton’s more carefully coordinated social media outreach has achieved less impact overall, but it has also given less ammunition to her own critics while also opening up opportunities for social media data collection, which could be useful in devising strategies for campaigns in other media.

The ongoing development of these strategies will be well worth watching in the months ahead, whether you are a representative of a social media company or a site owner who expects to hire such a company in the near future. Based on the Wall Street Journal article and what you’ve seen so far from both campaigns, which do you think is making better use of social media?

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