Will Social Media Determine the 2012 Presidential Campaign?

Exploring the impact of Twitter and Facebook on how voters will cast their ballot

Recently, SocialVibe did a study that found that 94% of voting-age people on social media have watched an entire political message. That same report stated that 39% of the people shared the message with 130 of their online friends. Not only will people be more engaged via social media during the current presidential campaign that will be a strong mobile strategy employed during this election, which some are predicting will be the “Twitter election.”

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo believes that the social media platform will be critical during the race and that sentimental analysis on Twitter will predict the winner. Many of the political journalists that cover the presidential campaign will be sharing content via Twitter, as it has been adopted as the social media platform of choice.

6 Ways Mobile and Social Media Will Impact 2012 Election

  • 1. Going Mobile: Content will be optimized for mobile so that information can be easily shared.
  • 2. Social Media Ads: Targeted social media via Facebook that is highly targeted based upon your behavioral patterns.
  • 3. Mobile Payments: Mobile payment processing has developed a lot since the 2008 campaign and we will see more activity this time around.
  • 4. Making Emails Social: Optimizing email messages/campaigns so that the messages are succinct and integrated with social media sharing.
  • 5. Engagement with Voters Online: There will be a high level of engagement required for each candidate because users are more connected.
  • 6. QR Codes: QR Code technology could provide some interesting applications to connect voters via their mobile devices to campaign content.

Another way to gauge the potential impact of social media is by looking at how the candidates themselves and the voters are engaged.

  • President Barack Obama: 25,187,556* Facebook likes; 12,525,236* Twitter followers
  • Mitt Romney: 1,474,694* Facebook likes; 336,857* Twitter followers
  • Newt Gingrich: 281,381* Facebook likes; 1,438,657* Twitter followers
  • Ron Paul: 858,613* Facebook likes; 237,208* Twitter followers

*All numbers subject to fluctuate

Social media will also play a larger role in campaign donations in the 2012 presidential campaign. President Barack Obama’s campaign has already started taking mobile payments via Square. This will make is easy for the Obama campaign to process payments via credit card or cash on Androids, iPhones and iPads. Square is working to develop and customize a solution specifically for the campaign.

This will be the most connected presidential campaign in history and the use of mobile devices will be unprecedented. Websites that are optimized for mobile and the social media channels will make this race more engaging and one that unfold in real-time.

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