Binging as I have been on this American political cycle (time I’ll look back on as well spent I’m sure), an element of Trump’s campaign has caught the eye recently.
 
Now that he has won the Presidency, it hasn’t just be down to his celebrity and genius at generating free media. As reported by Bloomberg, his campaign has developed a Facebook ad offensive that is truly remarkable. While it marks a new way of doing politics, by essentially giving up on outreach and instead using Facebook’s ability to use data to narrowly focus on turning out base support, the campaign also highlights the benefits of Facebook adverts to those of us who aren’t trying to get a fascist demagogue elected.

 

  • Facebook’s way with data is amazing. And it is even more so if you have a very specific audience (demographically and psychographically) that you wish to reach. There aren’t many better tools out there for hitting a fixed audience. Then, with that fixed audience, Facebook allows us and scary orange President-elects alike to scale very efficiently. Trump hasn’t wasted time trying to spread his message to a broad centre ground of politics – which is understandable given the partisan and extreme nature of his message. Instead, he has identified his base and has relentlessly targeted them (for both donations and get out the vote activism) on Facebook.
  •  

  • Facebook is showing the competition how to survive and thrive as we move over to a mobile-centric world. Their ads are among the most effective on mobile, not least because their call to action buttons are now literally call to action buttons. Trump has blown previous small campaign donation records out of the window, partly because of the efficient targeting mentioned above but also because of the ease with which Facebook allows mobile ads to segue into direct action.
  •  

  • Trump reportedly has a fear of spending money on TV ads, which you might think would nix any effective cross-channel advertising campaigns. But when you consider that broadcasters are happy to award him free airtime, we are able to see that the Trump team has run a very effective media mix. Facebook, as the most popular and effective of all social media platforms, is brilliant at facilitating and sustaining marketing campaigns that are running across other types of media.
  •  

  • Perhaps because he famously lost the best part of a billion dollars in a year, Trump is famously tight with his money now. While reducing the effectiveness of organic business posts (even among fans of the business), Facebook has encouraged users to spend money on promoting organic content by giving a much bigger emphasis to businesses that pay. Each pound, or dollar in this case, is both effective and accounted for.