GOP 2012 Candidates Shouldn’t Underestimate the Power of Social Networks

This year’s presidential election may not be decided by which candidate makes better use of social media, but it will play an important role in organizing supporters and speaking directly to voters .

“New Media” come quite far since 2008, which many have dubbed “the first social media election.” Technology is more advanced and more people frequent social networks now than ever before, making an active online community an asset to campaigns.

“It’s not just young people anymore,” Aaron Smith, a Senior Research Specialist at the Pew Internet & American Life Project explains. “They were joined by older and more conservative older adults in 2010,” he said. “It’s now a space where a broad range of demographics go to talk about this stuff.”

Smith said 54 percent of U.S. adults representing 73 percent of Internet users went online to either get news and information about the 2010 midterm elections or to get involved in a campaign.

At the end of 2011, two-thirds or 66 percent of online adults use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and almost half of American adults can use these applications on their smart phones. This capability provides a whole new frontier for campaigns and how they reach out to voters.

The real value in social networks is rooted in sharing. The vast majority of people use social media to connect with friends and family, and they trust those sources of information much more than the Internet at large.

“The power of this stuff [social media] is to identify the evangelist and enlist them to get others involved and get people to donate,” said Smith. “They are the people you want to reach.”

Fortunately for the Republicans presidential candidates, whose social media networks nothing compared with President Obama’s, social media experts argue quality matters more than quantity. Smith said what the GOP candidates’ online communities lack in numbers, they make up in influence.

Looking only at Facebook, Mitt Romney leads the GOP candidates pack with more than 1.5 million fans while Santorum has a mere 175,000 fans.

The 2008 election may have been the “first social media election,” but the influence of social networks like facebook and twitter will only continue to exponentially increase as more users join and more platforms are developed. Social media will not likely determine the 2012 election, but its value should not be underestimated.

Comments

Comments

  1. [...] GOP 2012 Candidates Shouldn’t Underestimate the Power of Social Networks [...]

  2. test1234 says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

The Daily Show on 'mixed marriages'

The Daily Show has braved one of the great dilemmas of our politicized generation: dating outside your political party.

The Daily Show defends 'manspreading'

“Manspreading”: The defining male rights movement of our generation!

Nancy Grace battles Dr. Drew on pot

Oh, Nancy. Just weeks after gracing the internet with her marijuana debate with 2 Chainz, she's served up another delightful bit of TV: her appalled reaction to discovering that fellow HLN star Dr. Drew is on the 2 Chainz side of this argument.

Stewart: 'Drones love Obama'
Jon Stewart couldn’t stop laughing about the drone found at the White House early Monday morning. A small drone crashed on the White House lawn around 3 a.m. and after several hours in lockdown, Secret Service determined that it did not pose a threat. “Of course it didn’t pose a threat. Drones love Obama. He’s like a one […]
Jonathan Gruber raps to MIT students

If you’ve been dying to see Jonathan Gruber, who credited the “stupidity of the American voter” with passing Obamacare, strip down to his undershirt and rap about economics, today is your lucky day!

White House

Biden: ‘The past six years have been really, really hard for this country,’ ‘tough for our party’

Vice President Joe Biden has a lot of singular qualities—he kills it with the ladies, for example, and is always down for a good ball joke.

HuffPo blogger Obama tells Dems to ‘Get informed, not by reading the Huffington Post’
President Obama offered some pretty ironic advice at the House Democrats annual retreat Thursday. According to The Hill, Obama told his fellow Democrats to hold their fire while the administration works on trade deals that several liberal lawmakers have expressed opposition to. “Keep your powder dry,” he said. How did he suggest doing that? “Get […]
White House: Scrapped 529 plan will still be in budget because it has already been sent to the printers
That awkward moment when even the President of the United States can’t get a print shop to make a small change for him… Just one day after the White House announced that it had caved to political pressure and would not be taxing the 529 college savings plan,  officials also had to admit that this […]
VP Biden appears on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ to get ask young people to sign up for Obamacare
With three weeks to go until the Obamacare deadline to purchase insurance, the Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to encourage young people to sign up.  The renewed push included a stop by Vice President Joe Biden on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Monday so he could appeal to moms who are good at […]
Small drone crashes at White House complex, origin unclear
WASHINGTON (AP) — A small drone flying at low altitude crashed into the White House complex before dawn Monday, the Secret Service said. President Barack Obama was not at home and the White House said it did not pose a security threat. The crash prompted an immediate lockdown of the White House grounds until officials […]

Congress

Dems escort reporters to bathroom at retreat
Why do Democrats always want to escort reporters to the restroom? Or at least it sure seems that way. The latest incident comes from the House Democrats annual retreat where Politico reports that reporters were required to have a staff members escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby during Vice President Joe Biden’s […]
Rubio wants permanent NSA spying law

For Senator Marco Rubio (R- Fla.) reauthorizing government spying isn't quite enough--he wants to permanently enshrine it in law.

Cornyn to Lynch:'You're not Eric Holder, are you?'
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) bluntly asked the only question that seemed to be on every Republican’s mind Wednesday at Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearing to be the next attorney general. “You’re not Eric Holder, are you?” Cornyn asked. “No, I’m not,” Lynch replied. “I will be myself. I will be Loretta Lynch [if confirmed.]“   Cornyn said […]
Cruz bill would punish IRS targeting with jailtime

Ted Cruz wants IRS employees guilty of targeting to be the ones forking over their money, this time -- and that's at the very least.