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Republicans expand Facebook efforts with 'Social Victory Center'

May 01, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • The homepage of the Republican National Committee's new online Social Victory Center.
The homepage of the Republican National Committee's new online Social… (Los Angeles Times )

WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee launched a new social media hub Tuesday, building on established RNC efforts and Facebook’s open graph to create the “Social Victory Center.” The Facebook app, the first of its kind in the political sector, seeks to create a similar social, procedural and effectual experience to that of the physical Victory Centers scattered across the country.

Built with the goal of going where its audiences already exist and spend a sizable amount of their time (users average six to seven hours a month on Facebook), Kristen Kukowski, press secretary at the RNC, said the hub was conceptualized by “less political, more tech-minded people.”

“What we want to do is help enhance what other departments do,” she said, citing how functions of the online center can bring in money to aid fundraising, increase voter turnout and volunteerism and amplify the communications team’s message.

After granting the standard privacy permissions to the app, a process nothing on Facebook is complete without, users are presented with a series of news updates from the RNC, with a menu of select articles and, most importantly, the activities and reading habits of other friends of the victory center.

Andrew Abdel-Malik, a member of the RNC’s digital team, portrayed the victory center as an enhancement of current campaign norms.

“Politics is inherently social by nature,” he said. The limitation was once that much of it depended on personal interactions, with the word of mouth being spread by individuals talking and campaigning to each other. The Social Victory Center aims for an amplification of those natural activities.

Abdel-Malik emphasized the sharing notifications in particular. Citing that each member of Facebook has an average of 261 friends, every shared interaction on the victory center has the chance of expanding across that immediate friend network, then to another network and beyond. From articles read, events attended or campaign efforts aided, there’s a wide breadth of activities that can be shared.

One feature, “phone from home,” enables those in noncontentious states to easily make calls on behalf of the RNC to battleground states like Ohio or Florida in hopes of persuading voters one by one.

The success of the center and other digital ventures could be vital for the GOP as it works to improve upon its online efforts during the 2008 election, when President Obama’s campaign all but dominated social networks. Four years is a long time in the digital realm, and the online playing field has since shifted dramatically.

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morgan.little@latimes.com

Original source: Republicans expand Facebook efforts with Social Victory Center

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