15 June, 2011

Social Media and the Politics: US Presidential Election Campaigns 2008 & 2012




Social media has empowered people by giving their opinions and thoughts the power to maneuver social and political set ups.



Photo Source: Huffington Post
It has emerged as a great source of political campaigning and lobbying. Film and sports celebrities are joining the rage, making politics even more spiced up and volatile. Joining the bandwagon, even common people are becoming more and more vocal and interested in the politics through this vital platform called social media.

These blogs, Facebook status updates, MySpace, Linkedin and tweets assume the power of making or breaking the game for political players.


What the **** is that?

As discussed above, social media always has a great impact on US presidential elections from its inception. It has become part of the aggressive advertising campaigns that a candidate starts for the American presidency. In fact, the debate is going on whether it is the social media which decides the next president of United States.

It all started back in 2008 when political pundits declared that social media was responsible for metamorphosing Obama into a potential candidate. It was indeed a clever campaign where social media was wisely channelised to stream public opinion in the favor of Democrats. It was a feat never witnessed before, unleashing the enormous power of social media.

Experts opine that it was this unconventional strategy which revived people’s interest in politics again. Popularly known as high profile endorsements, Obama’s campaign has been supported by a lot of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and Jessica Alba. A single tweet or status updates by these celebrities turn heads of million people towards a candidate.


The Best Part:

The best part of using social media for political campaigning is convenience of both the user and target mass concerned.

You don’t have to go out of your comfort zone and put up with all the unnerving external stimuli. All you have to do is sit comfortably and press few buttons and you are really done with it. The few words that you write will trigger a thought process leaving a boomerang effect, igniting instant response.

It has shattered the taboo of political campaigning of holding placards in rain and sun, standing out there for hours which have ultimately been dubbed as “legwork” and clumsy socializing. Only ardent followers use to sustain the trial of conventional campaign. Now even a slight political inclination can make you take part in this social media frenzy.


What Next?


With the hindsight of social media fervor of 2008 election campaign now predictions for the next elections are that the real battle will be fought here.

Photo Source: theAmericanDishTV.com
Next US presidential election campaign (2012) will be designed keeping in mind the new social media strategies and the signs of the same are already showing up. President Obama, already flaunting 19 million twitter followers, is announcing most of his election plans through his social networking updates. He has already made the news by carrying his BlackBerry into the White House.

Most of his 2012 election campaign has fancy tech savvy tactics to attract the new breed of votes. I wonder if he is the brain behind the idea of his website “Barackobama.com” which appears with an interesting option “Are you in” and with these magical words you are all set to move into his world of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’.

Social media has definitely made election campaigns interesting which not only Americans but the whole world is looking forward to.




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