Social media makes mark on presidential election 2012, but just how big is it?

As the public follows, candidates, surrogates focus resources, attention on social media this presidential election.

(PR NewsChannel) / November 5, 2012 / TAMPA, Fla. 

social media presidential electionThe outcome of the presidential election 2012 is still unknown, but experts say that social media is clearly a winner.

The impact of social media on the presidential election—from trending terms or Facebook likes--is undeniable. But the question social media experts ask themselves as they watch the presidential election 2012, is just how big an impact social media will have had.

“This is the first time social media has had a significant role in a presidential election, but some social media experts say most of its influence won’t be evident until after the votes are tallied,” reports The Lantern, the newspaper for Ohio State University.

Ohio is a key battleground state. In fact no Republican has ever won the presidency without Ohio.

Unlike in the 2008 presidential election campaign season, social media has had a “key role” in this election’s campaign, said J. Roselyn Lee, assistant professor in the Ohio State School of Communication.

“We have yet to see how social media will shape the actual outcomes of this year’s election, but at least it is obvious that both candidates and citizens
are actively engaging in use of social media in this election, even to a greater extent than what we witnessed during the 2008 election,” Lee told The Lantern.

Social media and presidential election 2012

Years ago, it was newspapers that most impacted the race. Then came radio and television and clearly now it is social media’s turn to influence voters.

“It’s not just social media but social media and the Internet working in concert that is influencing voters,” says Glenn Selig, founder of PR NewsChannel, the global press release newswire. Selig teaches a social media workshop around the country showing companies how to leverage social media and the Internet to achieve results.

“Public relations has changed and presidential politics has changed--I believe forever,” says Selig. “There are so many people who get their news online where it’s more difficult to discern the source of information. That creates interesting opportunites for both businesses and politicians.”

“We have never seen this before in presidential politics,” says Kenneth Wisnefski, social media expert and founder/CEO of WebiMax. “Social media is surging upward each day and impacting decisions of many consumers including political and voting decisions.”

Both campaigns in the presidential race 2012 have recognized the importance of social media and have focused a great deal of resources supporting their various channels—be it on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

“These tools are really powerful as a way to unleash your super fans and give people who are particularly passionate about an issue the ability to pound the digital pavement,” Aaron Smith, a research associate at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life ­Project tells the “Boston Globe.”

The “Boston Globe” sites a Pew study which shows 39 percent of American adults have used social media to push political or social issues.

“Obama had a huge advantage over John McCain in social media four years ago and used it to mobilize his supporters and maximize turnout. Most social media experts say the Democratic incumbent still has an edge, but the Republican nominee has closed the social media gap significantly and has developed a large group of highly engaged followers,” writes the “San Francisco Chronicle” on its Politics Blog.

“The scale of things since the last election has grown so much, social media is now embedded in our everyday lives and is really a default communication platform for the next generation of voters,” Josh Catone, editorial director of, tells American Journalism Review.

Mashable published “Politics Transformed: The High Tech Battle for Your Vote,” which spells out the impact of digital media on the election.

Mediabistro points out that it’s not just candidates in the presidential election 2012 that are tapping into the power of social media: 9 out of 10 Senators and Representatives have their own Twitter accounts.

Mediabistro published an infographic that shows how the public is using social media to make a decision on election day.


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SOURCE:  PR NewsChannel

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