Presidential contender Hillary Clinton tweeted, Facebooked and YouTubed her way through the first official day of her campaign in a social media strategy that earned her high marks among marketers.
Her tweet announcing her candidacy notched almost 90,000 retweets by the end of the day Sunday, her campaign video more than 1 million views on YouTube, and her Facebook campaign page almost 500,000 likes.
Impressive, marketing strategists say, although she did create one or two chinks for Republicans to chisel at.
Her 138-second campaign video featured everyday Americans amid milestones such as starting a business or having a baby, with Clinton first appearing a full 90 seconds in. It broke a million views on Facebook by Sunday evening.
“It’s less “me” and more “us,” which I think is very smart,” said Marissa Gluck, a director at marketing firm Huge.
That’s a really “big difference in tone, ego and professionalism compared to rollout videos from Rand Paul and (Ted) Cruz,” said Josh Cook, a former Obama digital director and vice president of digital engagement for the political consulting firm, BerlinRosen, referring to Republican presidential hopefuls.
But Republicans pushed back hard and fast.
Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz of Texas responded to the “ready for Hillary” message in a crudely cut video asking if Americans wanted “a third Obama term.”
A Google search for “Hillary Clinton for President” resulted in an ad for Hillary’s campaign page, but just below it was an ad for “Pledge to Stop Hillary,” a Republican-created petition.
The Twitter hashtag, or classification label, #whyimnotvotingforHillary caught on fast, but Clinton’s campaign made little effort to respond to those tweets, a mistake, said Gretchen Fox, co-founder of social strategy agency.
Jared Levy, founder of the marketing agency Guru Media who worked to engage young minority voters in the Obama for America campaign, called Clinton’s social media rollout “lackluster.”
She missed “a huge opportunity to have an organized campaign with influential supporters and advocates all rallying and empowered,” he said.
But Michael Cornfield, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington DC, said Clinton’s first-day social media ripple doesn’t matter as much as it does for the other presidential candidates, mostly because of Clinton’s strong name recognition.
What she does need social media for is establishing a distinctive message, he said, and as a way to measure the effectiveness of her key phrases, themes, and images.