Election 2012: Social Media

Election Day 2012 is winding down, and within the coming hours, we’ll find out who will be representing us for the next four years…and how much social media impacted the decision.

According to Inc.com, social media impacts voters because it allows candidates to engage with them (in real time), shows voters a bit of the candidates’ personalities and leaves them with a call to action.

In the 2008 election, President Obama’s use of Twitter to engage younger voters made the headlines. His social media campaigning helped Obama move from an Illinois politician to a global celebrity; however, the following he gained in 2008 was largely disappointed after he took office and neglected his social media accounts. The youth, however, seem to have forgiven the President as he’s predicted to carry voters in the 18-29 age demographic. Unlike 2008, on the other hand, young voters are less enthused about this presidential race.

This election, social media isn’t only a tool to engage younger voters, but is a major part of the election campaign strategy for both candidates. Today, 2/3 Americans use some sort of social networking account ranging from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and LinkedIn.

President Obama has a Goliath of a following compared to Governor Romney’s– but Romney’s social media campaigns this election have been growing at faster rates than Obama’s. Since August 28th, Romney’s following has more than doubled (experiencing 134% increase in followers); Obama, on the other hand, has only experienced a 14% increase since August– suggesting stronger social media campaigning from the Governor.

While Obama carries nearly 20 million more Facebook followers than Romney, over 100,000 more people are “talking about” Romney on Facebook today. Will it make a difference in the outcome of the election? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Cover Photo Source: League of Women Voters of California via Flickr

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.