Whether you are a Republican or Democrat one thing we can all agree on: if you want to win a political campaign you need social media. Barack Obama in 2008 used social media to effectively spread his message of Hope and Change. Donald Trump has used Twitter pretty much every day all day to communicate to the American people and more importantly to the news media. The days of shaking hands and kissing babies are long over if you want to run for office. Don’t get me wrong you can still do that, but it may not win you an election. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat may help you effectively spread a campaign message that can reach millions of people all at one in real-time.
There are many ways that the world of social media has transformed the way politicians interact with potential voter. Various social media platforms such as Facebook. Twitter, snapchat and YouTube have enabled politicians to reach a large group of people quickly. Politicians can look to versatility, speed and the user-friendly sites to campaign in written and visual form.
Social media has enabled politicians to create and keep that connection with voters. Social Media has also given an opportunity for the public to engage with political leaders and spread their own message and advocate on behalf of causes that they are passionate about.
Social media enabled politicians such as Barack Obama in 2008 to utilize social media such as Facebook to fundraise, set goals and keep his supporters engaged and most importantly willing to donate whatever they could give to spread his message of Hope and Change.
Social media has enabled candidates to advertise on social media platforms, and although that can be very beneficial to political campaigns it can also be a detriment if outside agencies, groups or political enemies tried to influence an election.
Social media has enabled political campaigns and most importantly politicians to communicate to a large group of people without spending much money. Donald Trump used social media to reach rural voters and at the same time combat negative media coverage. He essentially throughout his campaign served as his own press secretary and to a large extent does so as President of the United States.
There is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet. Keeping up with news and more specifically what is said is not easy to do. Politicians have to be able to reach out to their constituents and spread their message, while remaining professional and mindful of what some may say about them on social media. They way they react online can make or break them.
The more political campaigns and politicians utilize social media the more there are opportunities to learn from the mistakes that others have made; and the opportunities to craft effective strategic social media techniques to combat fake news.
The First Amendment guarantees the American public Freedom of Speech, however that Freedom of Speech can be hateful all across the board on social media but the questions still remains should it give Facebook, Twitter and other platforms the right to police what is said or not especially when political views do not align with likes of Mark Zuckerberg
Social Media can help campaigns micro target voters. Carl Rove, the former chief of staff to President Bush used micro targeting by looking at voters shopping habits to determine their political affiliation. Political advertising on social media sites has also enabled campaigns to determine how voters may or may not vote depending on the ads that they click on, however, these strategies can spread fake news and create fear among voters if done deceitfully.
Advertising on social media has given politicians the opportunity to reach large groups of voters without spending too much money. It can cost far more to advertise on television than online.
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