Romney camp gets crafty on Facebook

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Mitt Romney may not be winning the race for the White House on Facebook, but he is coming up with crafty ways to get ahead.

While promoted tweets and hashtags are nothing new over on Twitter, sponsored searches on Facebook appears to be a new trend in politics. This weekend, as noted on Reddit, Romney employed the new technique. Whenever someone searched for Barack Obama on Facebook, the president’s page still popped up, but it was below Mitt Romney’s sponsored link. The same thing happened when you searched “President.”

The actual effectiveness of the sponsored search has yet to be seen, but it could double the number of people seeing the link to Romney’s page. That may be an important step as we get closer to Election Day. Presidential campaigns are all about getting the message out; the more people who see it, the better for the campaign.

On Reddit, reviews of the new tactic were mixed.

“Yeah there’s nothing ‘clever’ about this. No different than buying a sponsored search result from Google – though probably not as insanely expensive. ‘Clever’ would be rigging the system so it wasn’t clearly marked as a Sponsored result,” wrote redmongrel.

“Sure it’s clever. It’s a non-traditional tactic that most political campaigners wouldn’t have considered. Even expert campaigners who have been in the field for years would have overlooked it. The Obama campaign has done a lot of modern technological advertising, but everything they’ve done (including the reddit ama) has just been a digital extension of traditional campaigning techniques,” DoesNotTalkMuch responded.

What will be more interesting is how the Obama camp responds. Will they try to buy back the space? Or will they do the same thing to Romney?

Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Justin Franz

Justin Franz

Justin Franz is a Montana-based reporter and photographer who wrote about web culture for the Daily Dot. His work has more recently appeared in Flathead Living Magazine, Trains Magazine, and Travel + Leisure.