I often blur the distinction between professional neutrality and political affiliation – to the disgust and delight of friends and foes, but instead of talking Canterbury, Ipswich, Kensington and the Labour swing, let’s look at the General Election marketing.
The Maybot went all out for PPC banners – interesting to hear yesterday on Radio 4 news that Google are facing a hefty fine for its unfair promotion of Google Ads.
Every time you googled election 2017, the Conservative website and the mantra Strong and Stable popped up, but despite winning the election, Theresa May actually lost.
She lost not just because of her policies, her robotic manner, her lack of empathy, but also because of social media.
Corbyn and Labour embraced social media and, with it, mobilised the young and middle classes, to switch allegiance.
I was part of it too.
Wandering round a supermarket, my giant iPhone alerted me to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was live at our local hospital.
I abandoned the purchase of figs, dates and bottled water (keeping it real, I know) and shot to the A12 (now renamed the A47) to meet the Messiah.
The man himself and the crowd was quite ordinary, I felt, but this was just the warm up for Glastonbury chants and his subsequent deification.
Corbyn had Labour aides with him, but I spotted one woman, who seemed intent on chronicling his campaign with a phone, tablet and microphone, and not protecting him from hecklers from our blue Great Yarmouth constituency.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, when Corbyn picked up a supporter’s dog, I shot round to photobomb, never expecting what would happen.
I appeared in his Snapchat story.
I featured on Facebook.
My face got Warholian fame on Channel 4 news, The Guardian and The Telegraph.
I was dead chuffed.
But, as the election progressed, I’m sure you couldn’t help noticing the omnipresence of Owen Jones on social media and the TV; the reporting of the rise of the membership of the Labour Party; the waves caused by political strategists like Momentum.
It left me believing, as a voter and a social media manager, that Labour had embraced social media marketing and that the Conservatives largely ignored it.
Social media works.
I’ve written about this before.
A near future is predicted where browsing on desktops via IE, Safari, Chrome, Firefox will go the way of Yellow Pages.
The present and the future is mobile.
Smartphones and tablets.
The future of searches is social media apps.
Facebook has almost 2 billion active monthly users, Instagram is the fastest growing platform, with Facebook’s commercial nous propelling its usage. LinkedIn has 500 million members; Twitter 328 million monthly users.
All are easy to use on mobile devices and all are app based (Instagram cannot be used from a desktop).
Now, whatever you think of Corbyn, his politics, the Labour party, you have to concede that he ran a brilliant election campaign, based on traditional methods of public speeches and canvassing, but mainly through getting the message across to millions of people on social media.
As a business, as a start up, as a service provider, as an estate or letting agency, you need to get serious with social media. Treat it as part of your overall marketing strategy and attach a budget to it that will make a long term impact and then find someone to create, manage and evaluate campaigns.
The right message, broadcast over social media, wins hearts and minds.
If Theresa May had spent just a fraction of the £1 billion DUP deal on social media marketing, she may not have had to sing “Come on Arlene” on the steps of Number 10.