Digital Politics: What’s Changed Since 2010?
In 2010, MySpace still mattered, apparently, because I mentioned it a lot more than I remembered. Obama HAD used it extensively in 2008, so perhaps it still seemed relevant at the time…though it was clearly on a downward slide. In practice, social-network marketing in 2010 turned out to be all about Facebook, despite some hype around FourSquare and other location-based apps. Those were innocent times: the great Facebook content algorithm traffic drought was years away….
Twitter was still optional, and Twitter advertising was nonexistent. Twitter hype was running full-on, I recall, but at least at the start of the year, diving into that particular social space still wasn’t a must-do for your average campaign for mayor or state legislature. The 2014 book has a long section on Twitter tactics and a sizable one on Twitter advertising, by contrast.
Online advertising was focused on Google. We’d already seen some use of Facebook ads by campaigns, but it was still a new thing for most. Banner ads had been around for years, but they suffered from the lack of the targeting options that now let campaigns hit individual voters with relevant messages. Back then, display advertising was a more scattershot affair from a political point of view, unless you were advertising on a network like Yahoo or AOL that had demographic data on its members. Many political people saw banner ads’ low response numbers and wrote the channel off entirely.
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