‘Mitt’s VP’ ties social apps to Voter I.D.

by politicalthing

Wednesday morning the Obama and Romney campaigns each announced the release of their mobile apps. The Obama campaign released an app that will be tied directly to helping them achieve campaign objectives. The Romney campaign released an app that will give their supporters a heads up when the GOP candidate has chosen to be his vice presidential nominee.

In an op-ed Wednesday Mashable asked where was the innovation when the Romney campaign announced their mobile app ‘Mitt’s VP’. It’s a fair question but less important then the voter I.D. data it will bring the campaign.

The evolution of voter I.D.: Social apps and content marketing.

A candidate’s pick to be the vice presidential nominee is one of the most speculated topics in any presidential election cycle. It’s an important decision, not only because the pick becomes the second name on the presidential succession list, but because the vice presidential candidate balances a party’s ticket in a lot of ways and galvanizes supporters. The announcement of the vice presidential nominee helps create a lot of online, print, and television content.

Of course, this approach has been done before. In 2008, the Obama campaign used a similar tactic by offering to inform their supporters of the Democratic vice-presidential nominee before anyone else. Using their e-mail list and mobile text messages, the Obama campaign saw their voter I.D. lists grow “15 fold” between announcing the idea on August 10th and announcing their nominee for vice president on August 22nd , according to David Plouffe.

This time around it’s the Republicans who have the VEEP hook and they’re using it to their advantage. The rise of the “app” is a new development in presidential politics but that’s about all that’s new here. Is it innovative? Not really, but it is effective and that’s good enough.

Tying social media to business objectives:

In an era when technology and social media enthusiasts are constantly looking for the next big thing it’s worth remembering that all industries – even politics – operate on a number of ‘fundamentals’. Political parties and political candidates live and die by the volume and accuracy of their voter I.D. data. Any social strategy in politics has to meet that need.

This is the simple genius of the “Mitt’s VP” app: it combines a major content hook while generating a wealth of data to be used for campaign communications, soliciting donations, and getting out the vote purposes.

Effective social media strategy is always tied to business objectives. It doesn’t always have to be innovative but it absolutely must be effective.

Interested in more? If you want to read more about using social media for voter I.D. have a look at: “Identifying Voters and Moving Them Through Your Social Media Funnel”.