Though campaigning with social media was a success in 2008, the 2012 election is looking to rely even more heavily on it than ever before. The number of Americans getting election news and information from social platforms will rise substantially.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were used heavily in the previous American presidential election for obtaining information about candidates and their platforms. Four years later, the 2012 election is projected to count on social media as a forum to disseminate and circulate candidate information. Infographics from MDG Advertising show 51% of all social users plan on using social media in 2012 to obtain candidate information in the next presidential election, whereas only 22% of social media users did so in 2008. Such expected high traffic this year means that candidate information on social media sites is pivotal, considering the large number of people who learn about candidates on such sites.
Higher Stakes for Political Campaigns
Benefiting from the heavy influence social media have on campaigns, political and digital ad spending has doubled in this field since the 2012 midterm elections. The majority of political ad buyers spent their money either on Facebook or Twitter, with 92% and 46% of them doing so respectively. Social media’s reach in U.S. elections is putting pressure on presidential candidates to maintain a presence on those networks. 62% of American citizens expect candidates to be visible in social media and almost two-thirds of social media users from 18-34 plan on learning about 2012 presidential contenders on social sites.
Voters Increasingly Use in Social Media
At the end of 2011, around 4 in 5 adults used social media sites as the growth of social media around the world increased. Of that same population, the majority noted that they were voters, indicating a correlation between social media usage and voting turnout. For the upcoming election, 143.3 million additional people are expected to use Facebook for campaign information. Other platforms are also expected to be used a lot for the 2012 election, with an extra 24.1 million users on Twitter and 178.8 million people using online videos for campaign information.