Facebook is making good use of its reach around the world to earn money from it, and now U.S. presidential election candidates are also recognizing the social media giant’s power. They are now spending a hefty amount for their promotion on social media, greatly benefiting Facebook.
Rising budgets for social media
American elections are growing more expensive year after year as candidates on both sides are increasingly opting to advertise on social media to get the word out and bring people to the polls.
Usage of digital media during an election cycle is not something new as it has been used since 2008 when Barack Obama used used it, and it actually helped him land in the White House. Facebook’s reach since then has grown by leaps and bounds, and this social networking platform from Mark Zuckerberg is growing with every passing day.
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The Guardian estimates per-day expenditures donors affiliated with Republican candidate Ted Cruz on Facebook “placement” at $10,000, but this is believed to be only a small part of the overall spending. These numbers will only get bigger as crunch time nears, benefiting Facebook immensely.
According to estimates, by the time President Obama’s tenure ends in the White House, Democrats, Republicans and everyone else involved will have spent around $10 billion in attempts to help their candidate win.
How Facebook helps candidates
Facebook is of use to candidates who seek to target voters and users on issues ranging from immigration to abortion to firework sales. But what’s more frightening is that in some cases, campaigns are making use of highly specified models to find voters individually online, reports The Guardian.
Zac Moffatt, the top digital strategist for Romney’s 2012 campaign, said, “Facebook is the easiest and most effective platform. They are so much more valuable than they were eight years ago.”
It is not possible for presidential candidates to track individual voters, but they are allowed to upload email lists and voter files to Facebook’s advertising database. The voter files include political habits, real names, addresses and phone numbers, says The Guardian. So if someone feels like he or she is followed on social media, then it could be true, and the person following him could be Donald Trump himself.