Television commercials used to be a great way to advertise a product or service. Other media outlets like newspapers and magazines were also a solid way to reach out to the public. But with the rapid expansion of social media, businesses have turned to sites like Twitter and Facebook to market themselves. Jumping on this bandwagon are political marketing campaigns. Politicians have begun using social media to garner support for their re-election, and gain support from the public, particularly for new laws they are trying to pass. Because of the level of its outreach, social media is becoming an important platform for political communication.
Many candidates have created Facebook pages about themselves and the issues that they support. Users can “like” the page, make comments and interact with the candidates who are running for office, either locally or abroad. Similarly, Twitter has its own political-ad team that acts as an in-house political marketing firm who focuses solely on putting out political advertisements. These social medial outlets have proven beneficial in reaching out to the public, as about 20 percent of users say that they have either followed or interacted with politicians and elected officials in this way. Once a person “likes” a page, or follows a Twitter account, this activity will show up on the newsfeeds of people who are most connected to the user. This then increases the chance that a user’s friend will visit the page to read about the candidate, and possibly vote in his or her favor on the day of election.
Twitter and Facebook have responded to this outreach from political candidates, and provided valuable user information for political marketing firms. This includes user trends, such as the fact that between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., users are more likely to engage with a political ad. Other research that could prove useful to political campaign marketing strategies would be find out if a user is more likely to vote for a candidate with a Facebook page or a Twitter account, or if a user decided to vote for a candidate based on issues they were able to discuss with others using social media. Either way, social media has changed the political marketing sphere for candidates around the globe, and increased in the number of ways in which the public can decide who they want to see in office. Learn more at this link.