How Will Social Media Impact the 2012 Elections?

Guest post by MyBlogGuest Author: Guest Poster10
Voters inside booths at Kuhio Elementary.Don’t expect the T.V. advertising campaigns to be any less intrusive, annoying and frequent just because they are going to be monumentally supplemented by social media campaigns in the upcoming election season.

Do expect to be inundated on all sides now:  in your email, on your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, on popup ads, and on twitter feeds if you are foolish enough to subscribe, as well in T.V. and radio mail advertising.

There will be a big advertising investment in all media

Considering that almost $2.5 billion was spent on the 2008 campaign, when the internet and social media were still just about in their infancy in terms of sophistication and audience, it is no surprise that forecasters expect $8bil to be spent on the run-up to the 2012 elections, with the new media outlets now available.

Barak Obama alone has already raised $1billion, and there are about 10 other serious candidates.  (And those are just the serious candidates; there are actually 175 people who are registered as presidential candidates for the 2012 election.)

Social Media is poised to become the new expert on election info

In addition to the money that will probably be spent on online advertising, voters may be looking to social media for new ways of informing themselves.  Many people have become disillusioned with recent elections concerning how much truth there is in election advertising.

A candidate is clearly going to slant his advertising to support his position and smear his opponents.  Voters can search what they will consider more reliable and unbiased opinions on the blogosphere and even among their own acquaintances on Facebook and other social networks.

More than 80% of Americans of voting age actively use social media.  That is an incredible segment of the population to be able to influence.

Social Media is already predicting outcomes

And of course, there is the interesting phenomenon of the self-fulfilling prophesy.  Online media polls have already started measuring who would win the election if it were held on Facebook or Twitter today. If enough of them predict that a given candidate will win, voters are influenced to either 1) vote for the favorite, or 2) not bother voting, giving a greater weight to those who have already voted for that candidate.

There was a great controversy in the 2008 election when a news station declared a winner early in Florida, supposedly securing his place and influencing those who had yet to vote.  Social media polls are bound to have an equal or greater influence.

Whether it is in income from advertising campaigns, influence on voters’ opinions, or polls and predictions, social media is going to be a big player in the upcoming elections.

While social media sites can offer a lot of information, doing research on your own may be more fruitful. Do a free people search on political figures and find out if they deserve your vote.

About Linda Hewett

Linda is a writer, blogger and confidence coach.
Her blog is Positive Spin – Helping You Face Life Full On without Fear – And Feel Great About It!

In her blog, Linda looks for the ‘positive spin’ in our daily lives and encourages you to look for the ‘small stuff’ that’s easy to miss, or even dismiss.She believes that confidence comes in many disguises. All you have to do is…look.
You can follow her on Twitter @LindaMHewett

Comments

  1. Social media will impact more on searches and specially the Google plus and twitter will rock on.

  2. For sure, a lot of politicians will use social media to campaign..And it can affect the youth…

  3. I think these coming election social media will serve as a tool in informing or watching the run of elections.

  4. Definitely Social Media will make a deep impact on Upcoming Elections! In My Opinion Fb will be Decisive factor as compare to Twitter and Google Plus!

  5. There is no denying the power of social media these days. With 80% of voters using sites like Facebook, Twitter and G+, it only supports this statement. I also find it alarming that there is 175 people standing for presidential election, I guess the media only ever focusses on 2 or 3 candidates prior to an election.

  6. Social media is the new and most popular way to attract youth because they are the one who will decide the election results

  7. Facebook, Google+ is a good place to attract votes in massive amount. Online media poles? Do you think it will be worthy?

  8. I can say that it have had pretty huge impact in few countries already, so I guess USA will not be an exception. On the other hand and I am quite sure that social media will continue to become more and more important part of our life and entertainment.

  9. Hello Keisha. Wasn’t Social Media already instrumental in Obama’s campaign. Anyway, when we look at all the revolutions driven by Twitter last year, your observation is nothing but accurate.

  10. You’re gonna hate me for typing this, but I think you’re wrong – at least for 2012.

    I’ve been following politics since god-knows-when::: Talking Presidentioal here, unless one candidate latches on to some damning evidence like a photo or video of his opponent that can be rapidly disseminated though social media and youtube, I predict social media’s role in 2012 will be “quiet” on the national scale. Perhaps state or local elections will experience ramped-up activity. I just don’t see Romney or Newt tinkling the computer keys, because they know Obama is social-savvy. The 2016 elections IMHO will be the ones decided and / or heavily influenced in the social media arena.

  11. I think Ron Paul is a clear favorite. Hes getting a lot of press. And 8 Billion. Really? Isn’t social media supposed to reduce media and campaign costs. And there it’s gone up by a couple. I think their SM companies are ripping them off ;)

  12. An interesting topic Kiesha. Here in the UK, political campaign’s do not generally receive the same amount of publicity or effort upon the part of campaigner’s. Well in my experience anyhow. After the general consensus that Obama’s campaign’s was significantly aided by social media, I should think all US politicians will be desperate to jump upon the bandwagon, whether or not it has any impact upon the result.

  13. Social media is one of the easiest way to reach millions of peoples. And When it comes to elections and politicians than social media is playing awesome role.

  14. More than social media used by the candidates, I strongly suspect this election will be dictated by organic social media. That is, people just talking between themselves online. Even more than in 2008 we have the ability to share and converse. I think that is going to be the deal breaker.

  15. I think social media will be a the forefront of the election campaign. We live in a time where social media dominates our internet landscapes. I think much of the campaign marketing will be funneled into social media sites.

  16. Social media is everywhere and you can do almost everything with it. Besides that, I think it’ll be a nice project because young people or the youth can express what they think or they will be aware of what is happening.

  17. Chris Lucernoni says:

    Social media is just going to get bigger and bigger. Candidates have already begun embracing it and soon it will be just as big as television ads. Social media permeates like no other medium, it’s actually a bit mind blowing at this point. :P

  18. Social media is making a big impact on everything… Especially the 2012 elections. It’s becoming more and more popular every day and seems to be the #1 quickest way to relay news and have it absolutely blow up quickly.

  19. Thanks for the great post you are sharing us here…

  20. Hey Kiesha,

    Quite an interesting twist to the elections this time around. But being social savvy and social media useful is two different things. Social media might have an impact in bringing the leaders closer to the general population, making them more aware, also involving a great amount of and influence on the youth power and that might just add on to a great advantage. But then again, social media is a funny business, they will have to tread carefully. I f it can make a person; it can break a person too! :)

  21. I think it depends on the basic of us

  22. I believe social media will be the a big part on 2012 election. Imagine how many people who uses social media nowadays, it would be a good way to show their “awesomeness” in the public.

  23. You already know that nothing is as powerful as public sentiment. If a friend likes or does something, you are more likely to do it yourself. This concept acts on various levels. The 2012 candidates might prompt young supporters to record Youtube videos of themselves, their thoughts and why others should participate. These real world testimonials may be the hidden glue in an otherwise wayward social campaign.

  24. Social media can play big role in advertising different candidates, but I don’t think that it will influence somehow on elections. All people have their own opinion, and it will be difficult to persuade some of them on something else

  25. Social media will definitely be a big marketing factor during this election. My 12 year old sister told me the other day that she would never vote for Ron Paul because he annoys her to much while she is watching youtube videos. I laughed and asked her if she could name any of the other candidates in the Primary and she said no. So, although she is too young to vote, it is obviously working.

  26. social media markting is very useful for every one i like it.

  27. OnlineShop says:

    ok, social media is one of the way of SEO.

  28. Yeah that’s Right!… Social Media will give a great impact on 2012 election in nice way and bad way…nice way in the candidates side if he/she had a lot of friends specially in Facebook and Twitter coz he can make his or her campaign one on one to the list of his friends and Bad if there are groups of people that against him/her…

  29. So true. Social Media has a big impact for this coming 2012 elections and probably politicians use it for campaigning their aspiring positions.

  30. Really good information Kiesha. Social media has proven to be and will continue to be a huge force in all advertising. I just read the other day how companies are going to be changing their marketing budgets of up to 50% to be switched over to social media marketing instead of the conventional newspaper and magazine ads.

    You mention about the ‘slanted’ ads that are currently running for the candidates running for president. To me it seems like a very ‘steep’ slant that borders on ridiculous. Not sure why we allow this kind of advertising during campaigns. Can you imagine Coke coming out with a very slanted dig against Pepsi?

    I’m glad that social media has provided small business with an almost level playing field when it comes to self branding and bringing awareness to your business. That is the most positive thing that social media has brought to light among other things.

  31. Malisha D. says:

    You are right. Social media is the new wave of political strategy nowadays. How would you know that the social media campaigns are reliable when you are new to the field?

    Thanks for the info and statistics!

    -Malisha

  32. I admin a site called ElectionWatch.tv at http://www.electionwatch.tv and this is our philosophy exactly. Social media is not more important than traditional news, but it is a reliable pulse of the public dialogue.

    That’s why in addition to the algorithm we’ve developed to track YouTube videos and Tweets on Twitter and aggregate the content on our page as a way to show the conversation now, we’re actively working on visualizations that give a reliable current and historical overview of the social media conversation. We hope to have these in place in the coming months.

    Thanks for the great article!

  33. Now with all the parliament members are so active on Facebook, twitter, etc I wonder if we will ever see them campaign in town maybe it will be on Facebook only.(:

  34. Glad I could be visiting here. MANY Can I find inspiration Here,. Buddy The GOOD way to learn

  35. jossette726 says:

    Good thing to know about it, And i hope that people will open their eyes and thoughts to the reality of life.

  36. Fhellie Den says:

    It will definitely have a big impact especially to the youth…

  37. Accurate blog here Keisha,

    I do think social media like facebook and twitter will have a big impact on the 2012 elections, not just elections but social media is becoming so relevant for all campaigns and businesses around the world. In my opinion its just going to keep growing and growing and the best thing is that its very cost effective.

  38. Your articles are really inspirational. Social media will be more and more of impact on advertising. Since FB gets more traffic than google… :)

  39. Determining the ROI generated from Social Media marketing can be a mystery for many politicians, but there is no doubt that it will have a tremendous impact as it is already having in the progress of all parts of the world.

  40. Thanks Kiesha for the great post. At last I got a interesting blog to follow in blogging purpose. Well I’m not interested in politicians but just recommended your blog.

  41. Social media has impact in any field at any time and they are the one who plays important roles in connecting peoples.

  42. I was curious if you have any data or references for your section: “Social Media is poised to become the new expert on election info.”

    I assume that you are extrapolating from data about people trusting buying recommendations on social media more than say organic or paid search.

    In my experience the people who are following, liking, and circling candidates are already supporters or detractors who have an interest in politics. With that said, I worry that the political information coming from candidate, party, and issue advocate accounts will be more polarizing than what you see on traditional media.

  43. Twitter might have the potential (and userbase) to forecast the next president. I remember reading a study a while ago saying popularity on Twitter correlated highly with elimination reality shows and who would win. This of course led readers to believe that reality show winners don’t win based on merit, but by popularity outside of the show. Lets hope some more studies are done this election season to see how well the Twitter hivemind can predict the future.

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