With all the success Obama had in 2008 using social media in his campaign for presidency, it doesn’t surprise me how much Romney and Obama are leveraging the medium during this election race. Social media has grown to be a powerful way to interact with consumers, so it makes perfect sense that politicians are targeting potential voters to get their vote come Election Day.
From day one, Obama and the Republican candidates have worked on gaining Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter to engage with the voters. As of today, President Obama has just over 31.5 million likes and Romney has just over 11.3 million likes on Facebook. Granted Obama naturally would have a larger following considering he is the current president and has been active in the social media world since the beginning. Here’s the crazy thing though…Romney has about 20 million less “likes” than Obama, yet he has slightly over 200,000 more people talking about him than Obama does. Does that mean Romney is going to win? Who knows? This is the first time that both candidates have been focused on using social media to this degree.
Social media has changed the political game forever and politicians better learn how to play the game. Romney has already found out that if you say slightly the wrong thing, social media will cruelly remind you by creating a viral meme. Romney’s 47% comment, big bird comment and his comment about the binder of women each lived longer than normal because of social media and people getting laughs from them. However, it looked like Romney did the best thing you could do…just keep pushing through.
Social media is also an amazing way for the candidates to learn what their potential voters really care about. You can click here to see a great Infographic, which breaks down the election by subject and how potential voters were talking about it. It shows you the 3 most discussed topics online during the 4 elections (3 presidential and 1 vice presidential). Do you know how valuable this information would be to candidates? They can take this and change their message and campaigns directly to what the voters are interested. If you scroll down to the bottom you’ll see according to this infographic, the three key issues voters care most about are jobs, taxes and oil.
Who has liked on Facebook and followed on Twitter at least one of the candidates? Both? (you should follow both, but that could just be me) You’ll see how each candidates make images or graphs about their policies and views. Do they dumb it down? Of course. But the fact they are getting their plan and views in front of millions of eyes is a fantastic thing! As sad as it is, most people do not know what is going on and will simply go to the polls and blindly vote for one party or the other. Don’t believe me? Check out this Jimmy Kimmel video asking people on the street, who won the First Lady Debate (There is no such thing) and it might worry you about who is voting for our future.
President Obama proved how powerful social media can be in politics back in 2008 and I think this just the tip of the iceberg moving forward. Gosh…who knows what social media mediums we’ll have in another 4 years? Could you imagine if presidents of the past had access to the power of social media? It use to take days, maybe weeks for the local paper to write about a presidential debate and now people can talk about it instantly! If future candidates want to have an edge when running for presidency – he or she needs to not only incorporate social media, but do it well!
– The future of Politics