Social Politics: The Emerging Role of Social Media in Upcoming Campaigns

Oct 09, 2013
Jason Baumann

social politics

In 2008, Americans experienced the first “social media election.” Presidential candidates embraced the web, blogs and other social media platforms to make their positions known. More importantly, voters shared their views with others and built a new enthusiasm around candidates.

In 2012, social media played an even more prominent role on the campaign trail. As we enter a new election cycle, candidates will need to be more social than ever.

What can we expect in Illinois in 2014? One of social media’s greatest strengths is its ability to target specific populations. I think that the 2014 campaigns will include more strategic and targeted social media plans.

Something new to 2014 is better social media reporting and analytics. We now know that Twitter users are 33% more likely to be Democrats. (A recent poll found that 40% of Twitter users vote Democratic vs. estimated 30% of the general US population.) We also have a new ability to target voters on Facebook that have expressed an interest in specific candidates or parties in previous elections.

The campaigns of 2014 will be exciting. It should be even more exciting to see the new ways social media will be utilized.

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