Article #1: Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters
In 2012, candidates were expected and needed to be posting funny little animations on the blogging site Tumblr in order to grab the attention of the younger generation. Social media became the most popular place for the candidates to share song playlists, add food recipes, and posting pictures of beautiful moments at home with their children. These were all done through Spotify, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. Most campaigns believe that the voters are particularly younger citizens who may not read the paper or watch television, but spend most their time on social medias. Mr. Obama’s team had posted on Tumblr to remind the users about the first presidential debate, and Mitt Romney’s bodyguard posted on Instagram a picture of the candidate’s family playing together before the debate. Also, the Web has its cons too. A well-intended picture or post on social networks can quickly change into a disaster. Campaigns also battle against each other through their posts on the social media. Posts posted by campaigns attract close to 70,000 likes and reposts from users. Each kind of social network has its own uniqueness and different kinds of users with different interests. Campaigns try to interact with different kinds of social networks to grab the attention of many people with different interests.
Article #2: 5 Unforgettable Social Media Election Moments
There has been a lot of social media activity regarding elections. Social media activity has started since 2008 when 1.8 million tweets were sent on Election Day. Today, 1.8 million tweets are sent every six seconds. There are five moments that really stand out as defining features of the 2012 election. These moments are: Mother Jones’ Romney Video, Big Bird Goes Viral, Binders Full of Women, Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention, and Sergey Brin’s Google+ Plea. The first moment happened in mid-September when a video footage of a private Romney fundraiser was published that included the candidate saying stuff about Obama. The video was sent everywhere from news to social channels that had spread criticism which lead to predicting that Romney had lost the election due to that incident. The second moment was when Romney said, “I love big bird” during the first presidential debate. Social networks sky rocked with more than 200,000 tweets and many posts and comments. The third moment was when Romney requested “binders full of women” when he was governor of Massachusetts. Many different kinds of social media satires were made, more than 13,000 users in twitter were sharing comments, and Tumblr had also built momentum around this moment. The fourth moment was when Clint Eastwood had addressed an invisible President Obama in an empty chair on stage at the Republican National Convention. The moment soon went viral and also, Obama’s team had joined the conversations by posting pictures of Obama sitting in a chair and saying “this seat’s taken”. The last but not least moment, was when Google had posted a calling for elected officials to withdraw from their parties, and govern as independents. Brin, co-founder of Google, hated the elections because no matter what happens, the government will still be the same. He also says that the elected officials have focused on sticking to the other party instead of themselves. Brin had made a very good point that goes viral. This sends a strong message that leaders can leverage social media to insert themselves into political conversations.
My opinion on the use of social media in future election campaigns, in the United States and in other countries is that I agree. I agree because every year, more and more people join social networks and become addicted to them. For most people, the only reading they do is through social media. This allows the candidates who are running to share posts and keep people updated. In the future, it would be easier for both the people and the candidate because almost everyone will be on social networks and everyone will know about the elections. Therefore, their will no longer need to advertise campaigns through television and newspapers, everything will be through social media. I think that in the future, when social media is used in this case, no parodies or violent posts should be posted. Also, I agree with the use of social media in future campaigns because, the younger generation will get used to social networks, which allows many campaigns to grab their attention.