“This will the most technologically advanced party convention of all time,” says GOP social media strategist Wes Donehue.
The same might be said of the Democratic National Convention that follows, as developers test drive new tools and end-users employ more mobile media than ever before.
Donehue, from Columbia, is making the rounds in Tampa, says he is fascinated with how everyone is connected this week.
“You’ve got the delegates on the floor talking to each other on their cell phones, via Twitter and Facebook. The back-and-forth is constant, the dialogue is constant, so there is absolutely no delay in information. It’s rather interesting to watch these conversations across the web,” says Donehue.
During Gov. Nikki Haley’s Tuesday night speech, politicians, pundits and anyone who cared, tweeted.
From former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm: “Gov. Haley should write POTUS thank you note. Guess what industry connected to tire industry? Yup. Auto industry.”
From Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Nikki Haley was the best of the GOP rising stars tonight.”
And Andrew Boucher, a SC delegation alternate, tweeted out a photo from the arena floor.
Even Twitter was measuring the convention conversation, reporting the Ann Romney speech prompted the most tweets of the first night.
Donehue says that gathering audience measurements is the most important trend right now, though it is not as “sexy” as Twitter or photo sharing.
“For the first time we know all of this sophisticated data about the people who are actually showing up at these conventions, from their voting history, on to their consumer data to where they shop, where they go out to eat. You would not believe the massive amounts of information you are telling the world about yourself in an electronic format,” he says.
Campaigns and companies then use that data to get to exact audiences they need, one way is through “pushed” messages sent directly to a target market.
“I’d be spending a lot of advertising on mobile and mobile outreach,” suggests Donehue. “Every person I see has a phone in their hand right now. So you are able to communicate to these people that are in Tampa, directly to them. It’s not like it used to be where you have to print out pamphlets and have a volunteer passing them out. Now you can communicate directly to every individual with the little computer that they have in their pocket.”