Have you noticed an increase in political discussion on social media sites? I have, to the point that people are starting to complain about the insistent posts of others views and commentary. There is also no shortage of advertisements from the candidates and parties as well.
According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Social Media sites play a modest role in shaping the political views of users, however, the poll was conducted in the first few months of this year, I think as we get closer to the election and people try to figure out what is going on, the importance of social media on the election will increase. I also believe, the numbers below represent a large percentage of people who are active and care about the issues and in the election, those are often the active people who can make a huge difference. Four years ago, President Obama’s use of social media to get his message out was considered a brilliant move and a big part of his victory. This election, both candidates are using the web effectively.
The poll’s findings:
36% of social networking site users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news.
26% of users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in recruiting people to get involved in political issues that matter to them.
25% of users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them for debating or discussing political issues with others.
25% of users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in finding other people who share their views about important political issues.
Democrats who use social networking sites are more likely than Republicans or independents to say the sites are important.
Below is an interesting infographic from Viral Heat that shows how the parties and candidates stack up across multiple social platforms. You can see a pretty balanced share overall, although I think the Democrats are more vocal on the platforms.
So as a marketer, are you using the election for traffic generation, survey questions, or any of the other many opportunities that come with an election? How about using political gaffs and disagreements or embarrassments to elicit a response from ad viewers? Look around at what some savvy marketers are doing, you might get inspired to jump in and take advantage of the huge opportunity.