Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” remark coupled with his dismissal of PBS and Sesame Street star Big Bird during the first debate became Twitter fodder in the world of trends. However, that’s not the extent of the governor’s social and tech influence. While it may seem like the Obama campaign is outperforming the Romney camp by leaps and bounds online, he is not to be counted out in the digital arena. From purchasing a Twitter hashtag to gaining the support of tech industry execs, Romney has a few digital wins of his own. In the tech space, is the Romney-Paul duo “America’s Comeback Team?” Let’s take a look at what the GOP nominee is doing to gain tech cred: —Tiffany Patterson
Backed By the Tech Community
With promises of tax breaks and a laissez-faire approach to regulation, many in the tech community favor Romney. In a recent poll, 64% of chief executives, CFOs and other company officers at tech companies as well as venture capitalists, tech entrepreneurs and consultants felt a Romney administration would be more prosperous to their industry.
Well-known venture capitalist and Facebook investor Marc Andreessen has contributed more than $100,000 to the Romney campaign. He’s also been victorious in tapping Silicon Valley heavyweights for super PACs. We’re talking key tech backers such as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Meg Whitman; Howard Cox, advisory partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners; and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, who gave over $4 million to conservative super PACs this year.
At the Republican National Convention in August, the Romney campaign debuted its own branded version of mobile payment provider Square. With one quick swipe, the Republican nominee was able to take in thousands of dollars instantly. In addition to having great fundraising success with the app, his campaign delved out 5,000 of the branded Squarecard readers. Romney’s digital director Zac Moffatt told Mashable the move was one way his team could engage voters with technology. We won’t know how much Romney received from the Square donations until after the election.
Twitter Hashtag Buy: The First to Ever Do It
While President Obama may have more Twitter followers than Mr. Romney, his campaign will not be out tweeted. During the last night of the Republican National Convention, his conglomerate became the first presidential campaign in history to buy a national trending topic on Twitter: #RomneyRyan2012 . Knowing the influence the social media juggernaut possesses, Romney saw it only right to flex his social skills. As of 9 p.m. the night the hashtag ran, the #RomneyRyan2012 tag had received 10,000 unique tweets. According to pricing, the cheapest hashtag package buy is $120,000.
‘Mitt’s VP’ App
The addition of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate breathed new life into his social media campaign. The Mitt’s VP app sent a push notification — if downloaders opted in — once Romney’s running mate was announced.
When the GOP nominee announced his VP pick, his Facebook page likes were pushed over the 4 million mark. In the first 72 hours, over 600,000 people joined Ryan on Facebook, while 100,000 added the congressman on Twitter and 100,000 online donations were made. Picking a running mate that gets the Internet buzzing, and brings funding into your campaign, definitely constitutes a win.