How Will Social Media Impact Future Elections?
We’re celebrating Election Day here at Adventure Web! We have seen the influence of social media on elections as far back as the 2008 presidential election. It seems, however, that this election cycle was really a defining one for the effective use of social media marketing in campaigns. Are there any lessons we can learn right now about the future impact of social media on elections? There seem to be three ways that social channels will be used in the future.
1. Voter Behavior Will be Better Predicted
Content shared about candidates on social networks proved highly valuable to both campaigns this cycle. Information about voter preferences, what issues were influencing their decision making, and even geographic information can all be extracted from a user’s posts and exploited through voter persuasion models as well as traditional voter outreach. A user’s news feed, in other words, provides a great deal of useful information for campaigns to better understand the voting pool.
2. Candidates Using Social Media More Personally
The Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump, used his Twitter account to create a one-on-one connection with his base. We have seen previously how various social networks create this kind of intimate connection between celebrities and fans, and it seems the political realm has caught up with this. Future candidates can use this as a learning tool to create powerful connections between a candidate and their voters to drive enthusiasm and potentially positively impact voter turnout.
3. Diversified Social Media Channels
A review of Facebook data during the campaign showed that more than 95% of buzz around a candidate were driven by posts outside of that candidate’s primary campaign page. This cycle saw the rise of a more distributed social media presence for both sides. Each candidate had their own primary Facebook page, but numerous other pages were also created and maintained for family members, campaign surrogates, and the National Committees of both parties. In the future, we should see more of this diversified but interconnected approach to social media campaigning.
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