Barak Obama was the first president to use social media to gain the presidency. In 2008 Obama used twitter, facebook, blogs, and websites to gain a huge following across the country. Before he was elected president he had triple the amount of followers on all social media site than McCain. I think Obama’s presence on social media made a huge impact on his success. He was able to reach out to the youth. Gaining the following of the 20 something generation was a very smart idea. Most being first time voters, they didn’t have a strong partisan view. After being elected obama has used social media in the white house. He is very active on twitter and facebook. He has held “Town Hall Meetings” on twitter and linkedIn. He allowed people to log on and ask him questions, he spent the meeting answering questions via status updates and comments. He has used Social Media since day one and I expect nothing less in his 2012 campaign, I am excited to see what the competition does to compete.
In the republican primaries we have caught a glimpse into the social media political world. Some candidates have used social
media well and some have been destroyed because of it. All the politicians are on social media sites and are doing well in gaining followers but some have used innovative ideas to increase their number of voters.
Newt Gingrich: Gingrich designed his Facebook page in a very unique way. First time viewers are asked to join the race, they are immediately presented with petitions to sign and a place to donate. After they have signed up or at least looked into it they can explore the site and travel to all the other Gingrich sites on the web.
Ron Paul: Ron Paul is the republican candidate I have heard the most about because I live in a college town. Ron Paul has done a good job tapping into the younger voters. He has a lot of people talking about him on social media sites and is a popular topic on Reddit. I dont know if his social media campaign is so successful because the youth likes him or if he meant to target the internet.
Mitt Romney: There have been multiple articles about the fact that Mitt Romney is not tapping into the social media world as well as the other candidates. I personally think Mitt Romney is targeting the older generations so I do not know if he is that concered about it.
Rick Santorum: Rick Santorum’s twitter following has increased at a more rapid race than any of the other candidates. He was the most talked about candidate on twitter on super tuesday.
I personally think Social Media is an important thing to add to the campaign along with all the other typical strategies. Campaigns should maybe focus on Social Media more than direct mail and email lists. Disclaimer I really know nothing about politics and this blog post is me writing out of my comfort zone. Even though I am not interested in politics I am interested in seeing how the candidates use social media over the next few months.