As echoed throughout the social media community, engagement is far more important than numbers, making a politician's follower count meaningless if he or she does not actively engage with supporters. Recognizing the importance of engagement, the Republican Party has fittingly themed their convention "Convention without Walls," in an attempt to break down the physical barriers to attendance with the help of social media. As we outlined earlier on The Social Ballot, one key strategy is through the use of smart phones. Both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention teams have developed mobile apps to help guide delegates, voters, and viewers at home through the convention.
Katie Harbath, a public policy manager at Facebook, was quoted by The Hill speaking of the frequency of phone use and implications on social sharing:
"Everyone has a phone now where you can take some really good pictures," Harbath said. "It's giving you a behind the scenes experience that's not the campaign."
And with mobile apps like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, these photos find their way through the wireless world and directly into your hands. We'll be reporting on the use of such mobile apps, and the effectiveness of the RNC's "Tampa 2012" mobile app in the following weeks.
Are you tuned into the conventions on your smart phone? What creative ways have you seen photos being shared across social networks?