Presidential Elections: Is Social Media a Game Changer?

Presidential Elections: Is Social Media a Game Changer?

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According to Mashable, Facebook just surpassed 1 billion active users, and there are already 140 million monthly active users on Twitter. It is safe to say social media has become a big player in many companies’ marketing strategies and campaigns. This past week it was also the first night of Presidential Debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, who both use social media actively to drive followers and voter support. According to Huffington Post, the use of social media in the 2012 US presidential election is expected to reach new levels of sophistication as the political parties increasingly use digital techniques to help raise election cash as well as influence the outcome of the vote.

Obama has built on the social media lead he gained on the Republican party in 2008. Based on analysis by SBS World News Australia, Obama had 28,658,765 Facebook fans but also 19,806,314 Twitter followers. Republican candidate Mitt Romney (whose Twitter profile simply reads “Former Governor of Massachusetts”) had just 6,961,665 fans on Facebook and 1,123,637 followers on Twitter in comparison.

Obama is also eager to experiment with the latest social media techniques such as ‘hangouts.’ Over 200,000 people recently tuned in to Reddit to see Obama take part in what’s known as an “AMA” — Ask Me Anything. He personally answered over 1000 questions, no minions intervened, ranging from politics, to philosophy, to Washington’s secret beer recipe. Obama received a mountain of praise for his efforts.

But will all this social media activity keep Obama in the White House? If the Internet were to decide who will be the next U.S. President, Barack Obama would win by a landslide. However, the most recent polls paint a drastically different picture. They show that the candidates are virtually neck and neck.

Article ideas via Huffington Post.