Many researchers and journalists, such as Matthew Fraser and David Carr, believe that social media was the factor that pushed President Obama past John McCain in the 2008 election. But this presidential election is a little bit different: social media has been around longer, everyone is more used to it, and more people are using it. So how exactly has social media changed the game of politics and the 2012 presidential election?
Must Have a Presence
Candidates, local and national, have to have a social media presence in order to win an election. This is how today’s society connects with each other, and is the easiest and most effective way for a candidate to build a relationship with voters. Right now Romney and Obama are both using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and blogs to connect with the public.
Long Term Memory
Not only will comments made by the candidates through social networks never really disappear from the Internet, every comment they make through any medium, good or bad, will never completely go away. They will always be able to be found through social media; the Internet never forgets.
Also, because of our ability to tweet, retweet, share, and post content all over social networks, everything moves much faster. Campaigns can respond to negative advertisements and comments made by opposition immediately through their networks. On the other side of that, if a candidate or someone within their party makes an offensive comment that can also go viral in a matter of moments.
As the campaign has already shown social media can both help and hinder candidates. Who do you think is winning the digital campaign?