Presidential Races Will Incorporate Websites For Mobile
In the seventies, it was newspaper ad, TV ads, telephone banks, and local party precinct work. In the eighties, it was still the seventies with more use of voter polling coupled with targeted mailings to specific areas. Not much changed for the nineties excepting the annoying robo calls at the very end of the races with some target message, frequently false about the opposing candidate… always too late for the opposition to respond.
Websites for mobile and SMS texting for candidates has arrived now in the twenty-first century and will be used in 2012. News from Techworld.com and writer, Matt Hamblen outline here just what we can all expect during this year’s presidential campaigns.
Mobile Campaigns To Be Hot In 2012 Presidential Race
Though not seen much on the campaign trail, mobile strategy is expected to be important for attracting younger voters.
Social networks played an important role in the last U.S. presidential election, but the explosive growth in smartphone usage and the introduction of tablets since 2008 could make or break the candidates for president in 2012.
As the Republican primaries heat up, the major contenders show on their official websites a strong recognition of social networking and connecting in digital ways via desktop computers. But the GOP and President Obama’s campaigns are not yet making many mobile-specific connections to supporters via smartphones or tablets, analysts noted.
Some campaigns have special links on their websites for getting updates via SMS to a phone, but they don’t appear to have candidate-specific downloadable mobile apps on Apple’s App Store or the Android Market so far.
“Smartphones and tablets are much more mainstream now, and these devices are literally driving the Occupy movement and the revolutions in the Middle East,” noted Rob Enderle, an analyst for Enderle Group. “The ways we connect to one another have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. Candidates need a good social media campaign to win, and social media done right includes mobile, because mobile allows candidates to loop in supporters in the moment and stay in touch and respond in real time. Mobile makes social networking more important. ”
Smartphones are most heavily used by people under 45, and that age group increasingly sees the smartphone or tablet as a portal to Facebook and Twitter, among other social networks, Enderle said.
Enderle said it won’t be enough for a presidential campaign to build a great desktop-oriented website. It will also need a mobile-oriented site that fits graphics and text or video on either a 7-in. to 10-in. tablet or a 4-in. smartphone.
“The candidates probably need content that fits the smaller screen, or that’s an audience they are not speaking to,” Enderle said. “Just think, a few hundred thousand people could swing a state and a lot of these elections are pretty close. Don’t forget Gore and Bush in Florida. This  election could be close, so missing out of mobile will make the difference between winning and losing.”
Apple’s App Store lists hundreds of news and social media-related apps, but on a recent search, none related directly to a single candidate. Analysts said news organizations will probably create specialized apps to help campaign groupies follow the candidates, much the same way that professional sports leagues have mobile apps on which fans can follow scores, players and rankings. It’s even possible that the Democratic and Republican parties will offer their own separate apps for the App Store or the Android Market in coming months, analysts said.
In early 2010, more than 20 mobile apps popped up for college basketball’s March Madness tournament, “so why not have similar apps to track campaigns?” asked Bill Dudley, group director of product management at Sybase365. “There would be lots of mobile engagement for candidates and news organizations to track.”
Dudley, a self-described mobile guru, compiled a mobile industry forecast for 2012 that included the prediction that mobile will be a “major means of trying to win votes” in primaries and the general presidential election.
Dudley defended his prediction by noting that about 80% of one of the strongest voting blocs — people from age 18 to 40 — is using SMS, and about 50% of those users are on smartphones. “Why not use that good channel?” Dudley said.
Some analysts warned that texting and other real-time messages from candidates to mobile devices could result in spamming that would turn voters off, but Dudley said unsolicited texts violate three federal laws, which require users to opt-in before receiving those messages.
Jack Gold, an analyst for J. Gold Associates, said campaigns also need to avoid the risk of “overwhelming mobile users with too much interaction and too much connectivity … There’s a fine line to balance with the candidate’s need to stay in touch with supporters and [becoming] a nuisance.”
Gold said savvy political organizers need to decide if Facebook or Twitter via mobile can serve as a virtual handshake and work as a substitute for meeting and greeting a voter in person. “Certainly mobile extends the reach of the candidates far more than those they could meet personally,” Gold said. “But at some point, does the mobile message just become background chatter instead of a way to reinforce the message? If all the candidates decide to campaign via mobile and I get tons of their messages, I’m likely to just discount all of them and tune out.”
Find out how Obama used mobile phones in 2008 and how they might be used in 2012. Read the entire article on Websites for Mobile and 2012 right here…
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