In another pioneering first for presidential campaigns, Mitt Romney is using sponsored search ads on Facebook to get his name in front of voters.
Searches for “President,” “Barack,” “Obama” or his full name all return results topped with a link to the GOP nominee’s Facebook page.
The Romney campaign has prided itself on its aggressive use of social media. Zac Moffatt, digital director for the campaign recently taunted the Obama camp for resting on its laurels after making headlines for its online presence four years ago.
“Obama’s campaign is still running their Facebook campaign like it’s 2008,” Moffatt told Mashable.
Days before Moffatt’s jab, the Romney campaign made history by becoming the first political campaign to purchase a “trending topic” on Twitter on the night of the GOP nominee’s acceptance speech at the close of the Republican National Convention.
It was a tactic adopted by pro-GOP interest groups like Americans for Prosperity the following week, aiming to steer the Twittersphere’s discourse during the Democratic convention. But plan met with decidedly mixed results, as Obama supporters hijacked the hashtags and turned them against the GOP.
Nonetheless, the Obama campaign did start paying to promote their own hashtags that week as well, though it’s not known whether this was previously planned or done in response to the Romney campaign opening a new front in the online ad war.
In a curious twist to Romney’s venture into Facebook search ads, one of the responses in the Reddit thread that originally pointed out the tactic notes that when searching for “Mitt Romney” on Facebook the results are topped with a link to VP nominee Paul Ryan’s page.
“A subtle clue as to who wears the pants in the campaign?” asks redditor thejusser.