Social Media is Winning the 2016 Election

September 26, 2016

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In 2012, President @BarackObama received serious praise for using social media to help win the election. Fast forward four years, and the number of ways Americans rely on social media in their everyday lives has grown exponentially, in addition to the number of platforms they have access to. This has forced political candidates to embrace a social media strategy that will allow them to gain exposure, be a part of the conversation, rally voters, and even show a more personal side to themselves. Social media’s influence is stronger than ever – it’s changing the course of the election and will most likely impact campaigns in years to come.

 

Social media: The Platform Where Relationships are Won and Lost

The presidential debates give candidates a chance to explain their policies. Social media is now more than just a source for information, it’s become the virtual debate stage where candidates banter back and forth for all to see. The more outrageous the post, the more the social buzz which means more headlines and even more press coverage. The debating doesn’t start and end with just the candidates, voters are using social platforms to make their voice (and opinions) heard among friends and followers.

 

Social media: The Wild West Platform

Throwing it back to the days of traditional advertising, the original media rules state that candidates must have the right to equal time. What this means is “basic cable and basic radio stations must provide equal time to all candidates pursuing office, and this includes advertising.” With the emergence of social media, the gloves come off. And there is no media referee. Certain private publications such as Buzzfeed have announced their refusal to run a certain candidates’ ads. Candidates can have as much or as little social presence as they’d like, and have complete control over their own social channels and tactics. Cue Twitter rant…

 

Social Media: The Platform Where Engagement is King

Voters can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. Nobody enjoys a hoax, especially when it’s coming from a political figure. Instead of channeling funds and energy toward TV spots trashing opponents, social media can be used to actively engage voters and establish a personal relationship. The popularity of social video grew in 2016, and proved to be a great medium for candidates to share personal stories that resonate with their audiences. This year’s candidates embraced the trends by incorporating platforms such as Snapchat, and put campaign dollars into funny and engaging videos in order to win over the Millennial voter.

Social media’s role in elections has evolved and without a doubt has had a big impact on this year’s candidates, the voters, and the media. Hillary is sending snaps, Trump-isms are taking over Twitter, and we’ll be logging on during tonight’s televised debate. Join in on the conversation.

Will you? Join us by tweeting @Norbella!