Election 2012 – Social Media Takeaways

I came home on election night from work and immediately turned on the TV and logged on my Facebook to get the latest updates on the election. Although I am not American I was still very much intrigued, especially since Israel is very much dependent on America in many ways.  After seeing how big of a role social media played in this election, I was drawn to read more about it the following morning. This article, simply named “The 3 biggest social media takeaways from Election 2012,” talks about three main points: First, how tumbler is also a practical platform to reach the younger demographic by using gifs, memes, and micro blogging, and how the more interesting/entertaining it is, the more voters will take notice of the message (as in the case of Obama’s social media strategy vs. Romney’s one.) This led to the second main point which was that in order for politicians to be heard over the tons of infomercials and media clutter, they can use sharable content as the new form of advertising, “A well-timed graphic, such as the Obama team’s response to Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention appearance, titled This Seat’s Taken, can break through this clutter.” The third point that was made discussed the shift from the old days where people kept their political opinions to themselves, to today where everyone openly advertises and shares their political views on social media.

I think that all of the above are true. It is important today to target not only the well established voters, meaning people who voted before and have solid political opinions, but the first time voters. This new generation of voters domesticated media and is well engaged and versed in social media, thus utilizing this outlet is a smart move. Also, as Sarah Banet-Weiser wrote in her article, self-branding, when done right, can lead to brand loyalty and even a lifestyle linked to this brand, a politician in this case, making the candidate more appealing to the voter. With regards to the third point, this is a perfect example of how the definitions around privacy have changed. What people might have sought to be private in the past is now openly shared with the online community, and all of this is done voluntarily. This idea of sharing ones political views can be seen as a kind of taste performance as Hugo Liu writes about in his article. People might associate themselves with a particular candidate or party, thus by sharing their opinions they are actually performing to the online community.

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