Presidential hopeful Ben Carson recognizes the power of social media. The retired neurosurgeon has proved to be a fundraising machine by strategically engaging and increasing fans on Facebook. While his opponents hit the caucus and primary states early in the campaign process, Carson directed his efforts online using television ads and social media posts. Since the start of the year, his Facebook fan base has risen from a few hundred thousand to its current status which exceeds four million. The Republican candidate has trumped his opponents by dominating social media.
As of lately, the social media strategist has surged in the polls. Carson has even surpassed the once seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump and is leading the Republican presidential race. Even if he does not ultimately reside in the Oval Office, he has already won the Facebook fan election. This aggressive tactic on social media could provide a window into how the next presidential ad mêlée might develop.
Carson has proven that social media, when used strategically, is one of the most dominating forms of marketing the world has ever seen. However, it does not happen overnight, it is a platform that requires real work and commitment. When voters consider the star power that Trump has from various TV shows and appearances, real estate wealth and all-around fame, he still trails the retired surgeon in the area of Facebook fans.
The internet is by far the most progressive form of communication. It changes the scale, cost and pace of transmitting a message. Carson has not changed his message, just challenged the method by using technology. Many in the business world already understand that social media is essential for marketing success, Carson has now revealed how powerful it is on the political scene as well by using it to trump his opponents.
Social media is here to stay, and its influence continues to rise. The marketing strategy requires commitment, industry insight, clever social content curation, and genuine engagement. Carson’s team has mastered this by simply having fun with Facebook posts. The Republican candidate’s Facebook page is filled with animals, which, according to Doug Watts, the presidential hopeful’s communications director, translate to real cash for the campaign. He said:
It is not all boring and government oriented and politics oriented. The team created a ‘Pet Week’ which involved a lot of pets and engaged many pawed supporters. None of us have ever seen anything like this. It is a different process than we are accustomed to with candidates. Usually, it is a hard sell. With Ben, it just really is not.
The campaign plans to continue their strategy of social media marketing and targeting small dollar amounts. Instead of seeking fundraising efforts which include high bids of $100,000 from donors, they are seeking to raise $500 and under from those without access to large donations. They anticipate continued success by avoiding huge spending on television ads and maintaining their small money, social media approach. The team’s approach has propelled Carson into a position of domination by using this strategy to trump his opponents.
From the start, his candidacy has been unorthodox. The retired neurosurgeon has chosen to run a “clean” campaign and avoid any negativity. As other candidates continue to arouse the media by sparring and trading verbal insults, Carson decided early on that he would not participate in any of the like. Instead, he has focused his energy on dominating social media to trump his opponents. It is too early to predict who will win the 2016 presidential campaign, however, by building a significant social media following presidential hopeful Ben Carson has earned a clear-cut edge above his competition.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
NewsMax: Facebook Fans Make Republican Candidate Ben Carson a Fundraising Star
Social Media Today: New Statistics Highlight the Power of Social Media Marketing
Wall Street Journal: Ben Carson Leads Presidential Field On Facebook
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Flickr License