According to Statista, Americans spend on average a total of 56 minutes daily on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others. Based on these statistics, it is not surprising that the upcoming 2020 Presidential Campaign is built on a substantial amount of financial investments towards social media advertising. Back in 2016, President Trump invested $20.1 million dollars in media advertising. According to the New York Times, Trump has spent as of today around $5 million dollars exclusively towards Facebook advertising. Although Democrats are behind on the social media conquest, “12 out of 16 Democratic Campaigns spent a total of $6.7 million dollars on online advertising and putting together their digital strategy according to FEC filings.” (Washington Post) With advertising budgets and numbers of social media users rising everyday, it has become a polemic whether or not that colossal amount of money invested in digital advertising is necessary.
Digital advertising is in fact a great tool to communicate your political ideals to your audience but it is also very useful when it comes to targeting a specific portion of the population. According to Axios, Trump’s campaign is spending 44% of its Facebook ad budget to target users who are over 65 years old, as opposed to Democratic candidates who are only spending 27% of their budget on that demographic. New technologies have also brought a new perspective of digital advertising; instead of being used only as a tool to inform instantly a large amount of people, now it has also become a more effective way to reach new audiences by triggering their interest.
Based on research, it is reasonable to assume that the interest on mastering social media strategies in order to outreach and gain more voters, won’t slow down anytime soon. It is expected to grow in future campaigns and with fewer people watching TV commercials, the significance of social media on political campaigns will only expand.