Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Minority Leader in the U.S. Senate, is involved in one of the most closely watched races of the 2014 cycle. The outcome may serve as a measure of how well the Republican Party has caught up to Democrats on the social media front, given its weaknesses, perceived or real, in 2012.
According to MSNBC, “McConnell’s team is investing heavily in a bold social strategy aimed at making policy discussions fun, palatable, and shareable,” despite the absence of an opponent and with 17 months until the first vote is cast.
This includes promoting posts on Facebook to users who don’t subscribe to campaign updates, said the McConnell camp’s digital strategist, Vincent Harris, who also ran social media for the presidential bids of Newt Gingrich. The campaign is already creating bold videos for the 71-year-old incumbent senator that seem tailor-made for sites like BuzzFeed.
We asked Harris about the campaign’s digital strategy...
[Vincent Harris:] "The McConnell campaign this cycle is a great example of how Republicans are using social media as it needs to be. There was a good piece in The Daily Dot about the campaign’s use of memes, and I think you’ll see other Republican campaigns utilize social in similar ways — persuasion by entertainment. Republicans need to get on board, or they’ll find that they’re talking to an audience of only rabid supporters and not average voters that are needed to win elections."
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