Friday, October 31, 2008

How Social Media is Impacting the Election

In light of the election this coming Tuesday, I thought I would take a few minutes today and look into how new media has been affecting the election.

We all know how intense this years Presidential Election has been, with both Democratic and Republican parties vying for votes by any means possible. Over the past months both parties have been on the campaign trail promoting themselves in traditional ways: town hall meetings, rallies, television and radio ads, debates, and the list goes on. While this year’s election season has been full of these more traditional approaches, there has been a heavy shift towards using social media to woo voters as well.

The Democratic campaign has been reaching out to voters through social media tools and mobile marketing techniques thus giving it the nickname the “Social Media Election”. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have brought the campaign to new heights in promoting the candidates and engaging voters, especially among younger demographics.

MySpace has been a hot spot for members to communicate about the election, who they’re voting for, and what they believe it. In addition to this, one of the best things MySpace has done for the election is allowing users to watch and participate in the debates as volunteers.

Twitter has also been a great place for people to get information, as it keeps followers updated minute by minute about what is going on in with the candidates. Facebook has been a great place to get involved, as it has created pages, groups, and even various applications which remind people to vote.

The Obama campaign has really taken the use of social media to the next level, having created an application for the overwhelmingly popular iphone that allows you to organize the contacts in your phone by key battleground states, receive updates about what is going on in those states, and helps you find/contact the nearest Obama headquarters to get your friends involved and voting.

The fact that both parties have been using social media so much in their campaigns is a testament to how fast the world of Social Media Marketing is growing and impacting our everyday lives. These social media applications being used by the candidates have no doubt allowed for a much more interesting election, and have also engaged voters in new ways than ever before.

Don’t forget to voice your opinion through the various social media outlets and to vote on Tuesday!

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