Every time Rand Paul does a fillibuster, the hashtag #StandWithRand goes nuts. Partly because it’s nice and catchy, partly because it’s always great fun to watch a fillibuster go down to the wire, and partly because a large proportion of the libertarian core vote is comprised of humongous nerds.
This time around, however, it has two additional factors going for it:
1. He could end up President one day.
2. His staffers are on Twitter right now encouraging people to post photos of themselves watching the fillibuster and hashtag them #StandWithRand. From a marketing point of view this is great on so many levels. Firstly, it incorporates a selfie aspect, which gives people an incentive to join in. Secondly, it’s cheap clicktivism but gives participants a sense of being part of something bigger (see also #BringBackOurGirls, #Kony2012 etc. etc.). However, while the #BringBackOurGirls trend peaked over several days, this has the additional key advantage of having all activity surrounding the hashtag compressed into the few short hours of the fillibuster itself. While this reduces the length of the exposure, it also increases the sense of community spirit among those joining in, and if you’re shortly going to be running an election campaign then that’s a very useful thing to have.