School of Business
political marketing, social media, engagement, presidential elections
Swartley, Morgan, "Political Marketing: How Social Media influenced the 2008-2016 U.S. Presidential Elections and Best Practices Associated" (2018). Senior Honors Theses. 726.
Political marketing has become a growing facet of marketing that has infiltrated the campaigning of U.S. presidential elections. Within this cognate of marketing, social media has become a major component of predicting election outcomes starting with the 2008 U.S. presidential election. An analysis of the social media performance of candidates from the 2008 to 2016 U.S. presidential elections reveals how the power of social media can be harnessed to increase voter participation, connect voters to offline political activity, and engage voters with candidates on a more personal note. Social media political marketing should further emphasize the candidate’s brand and build followership through targeted messaging to desired segments. Social media continues to grow in use and bypass direct news sources; therefore, it must complement and create a dialogue with traditional media, as it will likely surpass it someday. To use social media effectively in political marketing, best practices are outlined in this paper with regards to content, engagement, security, platform selection, targeting, group membership environment creation, and display.