Photo: Romney campaign
Mitt Romney’s campaign has launched a new Facebook mobile advertising campaign, possibly becoming the first campaign to use the social networking giant’s mobile ad platform, Romney’s digital team director Zac Moffatt told Business Insider over the weekend. The campaign will pay to highlight sponsored stories, in order to have a better chance of reaching Facebook users that “like” Mitt Romney’s page. Moffatt said he believes the Romney campaign is the first to use Facebook mobile advertising.
“It’s a good way to feed the conversation, expand your reach a little bit,” Moffatt told Business Insider. “It’s just an opportunity for us to share our message to people who are already with Mitt who, in turn, share it with their friends and provide that first-person validation.”
For Moffatt, it’s about making it easier to reach as many people as possible. In December, research from media analyst Benedict Evans found that about 40 per cent of Facebook users are active on a mobile application.
The Romney campaign also recently became the first to launch an advertising campaign with Apple’s mobile iAd service on the iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices, and the campaign has been reaching Android users with mobile online advertising through Google.
Facebook adds a unique piece to the mobile advertising puzzle. It’s another way to reach the so-called “off the grid” voters that are now vital to a campaign’s winning strategy. But any success with Facebook is especially valuable because of users’ ability to share stories with hundreds — even thousands — of people with just one click.
“Our goal as a campaign is to reduce the points of friction to share a message,” Moffatt said. “Because we’re talking to as many people as possible. We feel that the more people who hear Mitt’s message, the more it will resonate. We need to get as many people engaged as people into the world of social and the world of digital. Facebook has that audience and platform built in. So what we’re trying to do is to make it as simple for them on there.”
Facebook has recently taken some steps to make mobile advertising easier for marketers. In early June, the company started allowing advertisers to design ads specifically for mobile versions, and marketers can now put ads directly into users’ news feeds.
Moffatt thinks mobile advertising with Facebook will help the campaign as it tries to cut into President Barack Obama’s three-plus-year head start on social platforms. On Facebook, Obama’s page has more than 27 million “likes” to Romney’s 2 million.
One of the Romney campaign’s first sponsored Facebook mobile stories was a post advocating for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Helped with a boost from the mobile app, Moffatt said, the campaign received its biggest Facebook response yet — as of Monday morning, nearly 90,000 “likes,” 8,000 comments and more than 2,500 shares.
“That’s what a campaign is supposed to be about — giving people the tools and allowing them to decide what to do with it,” Moffatt said. “But I think the message is far stronger. If you were to share that on your page or you were to like it, that sends a far stronger message than if we just go up on television and tell that story.
“When 70,000 people like or share that story, that’s a reach of millions of people that we didn’t have to go out and buy anything on television, or buy anything in a newspaper,” he added. “It’s another way of being a holistic campaign.”
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