Only in recent years have politicians joined the hype of the social media movement. But, what does this mean for the outcome of future elections?
Getting the Whipper Snappers Interested
I have never been someone who was extremely interested in politics. I honestly have never really actively kept up with candidates, what they stand for, or even how it affects my life in any way, shape or form. That is, until, Barack Obama ran for president, especially in running for his second term. Without social media, Barack Obama’s campaign might have been ineffective. Why? Reason being that Obama knew who to target. Here we have a younger candidate for a change, using technology, and targeting a younger market.
Doing What’s Cool
Keeping up with trends and doing what’s cool is a part of the make up of a young adult. Obama made his campaign “cool”. He used Twitter, Facebook, and even Youtube to gain the attention of fresh, new voters. I distinctly remember going to the voters booth early on in the election process when Obama was in the running against many other candidates with my father. At the time, my dad was unsure who he wanted to vote for. My response to him was, and I quote, “Just vote for Obama… everyone’s doing it!” New voters who are still unsure about the candidates and what all of the clutter and political jargon means often feel the need to gravitate to what seems familiar. At the time of this very popular election, Obama’s name and face was everywhere. Even if you didn’t know a thing about Obama’s beliefs or plans for the United States, his image online was a charming one.
So, What’s Next?
After watching the success of Obama unfold before our very eyes, politicians may begin to consider making social media the central medium for their campaigns. Times are changing and so are voters. Younger people are becoming more and more interested in politics and how their outcomes can and will affect their lives. In order for candidates to stay relevant, it is crucial that politicians adapt. Many politicians in the past like John McCain and Mitt Romney have not been aggressive through social media. However, with each election taking place every four years it is important that candidates keep up with the rapidly evolving times.