A Guide to Following the 2012 RNC Through Social Media

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Can’t make it to Tampa? You can still keep updated on this year’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in realtime, delivered with the spunky canter that comes with social media.

Dubbed as “The Convention Without Walls”, the social media strategy of this year’s RNC is reinvented to delve into many forms of social media.

Here is our guide to navigating social media in order to stay updated on the happenings of the convention. The list includes political accounts both official and unofficial.

Facebook:

Updated daily, the official page of the RNC posts various links and updates on their feed. Although not as quickly or frequently updated as other social networks, Facebook offers social engagement that is inherent. You can comment, share, and “Like” any given post, while the aspect of social sharing encourages the involvement of friends.

Twitter:

For those on Twitter, you can follow official updates made by the convention in realtime on the GOP twitter. The tweets consistently include external links with polls, videos, and blog entries. Updated almost hourly, Twitter seems to be the best bet for real-time and up to date information. Check out some Twitter lists/feeds Jenny Xie from PBS’s “Mediashift” has compiled:

You can also use hashtags to find feeds on specific key words or topics. Although the feeds include searches between all users on Twitter, you can filter the feed to “top”, “all” and “people you follow”, located on the top of the feed. From there you can find topic-specific feeds and information. Some hashtags to follow include:

      • #GOP2012 (the official hashtag of the RNC)
      • #RNC2012
      • #captureRNC
      • #RNC
      • #RomneyRyan2012

Google +: If you are one of the brave who have dived in to the world of Google +, the official RNC page can be seen here. Fully utilizing all of the unique aspects and components of Google +, the convention has already started “hanging out” with Google Hangouts, while also posting uniform updates. With 89,371 people following their activity, the page is definitely integral to their social strategy.

Instagram: Like twitter, not only can you follow the individual Instagram account labeled under the user “gopconvention”, but you can also look at hashtag feeds for more photos. Try searching the hashtags #RNC or #GOP2012. Also, take a look at our favorite Instagram photos so far here.

Flickr: If you don’t have a smart phone or Instagram account but still want visual updates from the convention, check out photos on Flickr tagged with #RNC. Here, you can find images from convention goers on a more personal level, representing individual views (both literally and metaphorically). The official account for the RNC 2012 is here.

Tumblr: Tumblr has deployed employees to visit both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, in what they have titled “Tumbling the Conventions.” On their elections page, they cover the more humorous aspects of politics and the conventions. You can find more IVN coverage on Tumbling the Conventions here and here.

Pinterest: With 96 pins and boards dedicated to the various lifestyle aspects of Tampa – not to mention a “convention swag” board – the official RNC Pinterest board can be seen here.

Foursquare:  The official RNC foursquare account uses the location aspect of the site to post updates and encourage others to check in to different locations around the Convention.

YouTube: As reported by IVN, Youtube will be the main social media outlet used by the 2012 RNC this year. Speeches and events will be live-streamed, bringing the convention into the homes of those who cannot attend in person. The RNC official YouTube page already hosts 23 videos, with over 40,000 views.

Storify: For a story board look at the convention, try Storify, a social media aggregation tool that allows users to compile tweets, instagram photos, Facbeook updates, YouTube videos, and links into a story-type post.

Quora: For a question and answer type format, the official Quora page for the Republican Naitonal Convention can be a tool to connect with other users and talk about issues facing the GOP and Convention related questions. One question currently on the forum is “If Hurrican Isaac were to thoroughly trash the Republican convention, should that be taken as a sign from God?”

Having its hand in the big players of social media, the RNC has proven their understanding of the importance of social media. But one social media site they may have forgotten? Reddit. Although not commonly used by parties themselves, Reddit is making a name for itself as a social media news for politicians, having many tech-savvy politicians answering questions via AMA (Ask Me Anything).

For a more detailed list of social media resources and general online sources, PBS’s “Mediashift” contributor Jenny Xie, has a comprehensive list here.