Last week we brought you a glimpse at how much of an impact our two major 2012 presidential candidates are having in the social space. Today, we’re diving into the second part of the social media politics equation and examining how the public is responding.
There’s no question that social media is playing a major part in the expression of public political opinion. The first presidential debate resulted in 10.3 million tweets. By comparison, Super Bowl XLVI resulted in just 5.5 million tweets, and those were measured not only during the game, but also over the course of the seven days leading up it.
In other words, the public is definitely speaking.
But speaking isn’t the same as listening. How important is social media in the actual spreading of political ideas? In order to determine how effective the candidates’ social media strategies really are, we need to find the answers to three questions:
social media politics,
Election Day is getting closer and closer, and both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are going full steam ahead with their presidential campaigns. Odds are, you’re seeing evidence of the election everywhere; stories on the news, ads during prime time, signs in your neighbor’s yard, and, yes, posts popping up on your social networks.
Social media became a major player in a presidential election for the first time in 2008, a race that Businessweek called “the first social media election.” 2008 was the first time a massive number of people took to social networks to discuss the presidential race, and the major platforms (chiefly Facebook and Twitter) have experienced explosive growth in the last four years. 2008 may have been the first social media election, but 2012 dwarfs it in scope.
Which, of course, begs an obvious question: Just how much of an impact does social media campaigning have on voters?