Although we have been subjected to a lot of political debates and views on social media, did you ever think that how social media has now changed the political game and how it has got its deep roots in shaping the views of masses almost… anything? Who would’ve thought a decade ago that a fly could garner so much attention in a presidential campaign?
The minute you think about social media and its effects, you immediately start thinking about how negative it has been so far. But did you ever think about how it has positively influenced and helped simplify things?
Social media has certainly changed how public figures are viewed, especially politicians. Through their social media and digital presence, politicians can now connect with people on a more social and personal level, even more so during the pandemic. The only way to reach out and convey your message to people, was through digital means and the political figures who adapted to this change, were the ones who could reinforce their connection with the audiences. This has surely gone a long way in making or even breaking any political party and its public image. These last few years have been proof of that!
About 70% of the American population actively uses social media. When we think about political discussions on social media, Twitter is the only microblogging service that comes to mind. Surprisingly, it has an audience reach of about 68.7 million users in the United States!
Eighteen percent of US adults say social media is their most common way to get political and election news. Out of this group, 48% of adults are below the age of 30 and only 12% of them are over 50! This shows that youth is more dependent on social platforms to know political happenings around the world! By learning the latest trends and what the public is thinking and discussing, social media can be a very important and critical tool in forming a public opinion and creating a public image. This is the reason why social media is very useful in politics. If used efficiently and ethically, this tool can do wonders!
Below are a few reasons why using social media is beneficial in politics?
One of the biggest advantages of using social and digital platforms in politics is that it can be used to directly get in touch with people! Gone are those days when political candidates used to be dependent on the media to connect with the audiences.
Today, many politicians are using social websites like Twitter and Instagram to interact with both voters and nonvoters! An outstanding example of it would be the US Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using features like IG stories, Livestream, online interviews, Facebook live sessions to answer the questions of the public and to create a connection with her followers on these platforms.
Real-Time fact-checking and information
The news, especially political news, spread rapidly on social platforms and it is accessed by people multiple times in a day. Conversations, comments and views on social media change every minute and in millions. How do we keep track of them in real-time?
You can do thYou can do this with the help of tools like convocean.com that analyze the trends and information on social media to provide accurate and authentic information. The political parties can also easily use this information to fact-check their statistics and information in real-time before addressing their target audiences and gain their vote of confidence using particular issues in their interest.
Allows you to maintain connection with the audience
There are many instances where people in the public eye make enemies due to one wrong or inappropriate remark on social media. This increases tenfold if there is a political issue involved.
The value of public image and opinion is more relevant now more than ever since it is so capricious and volatile. A public person can gain or lose millions of followers on social platforms, based on what they say and support.
A very recent example can be taken from the incident where Lord Kilclooney, a member of the House of Lords made a racist comment about Kamala Harris becoming the Vice President of the US. He then retracted and apologized for the same on social media since he was getting a lot of hate from the people. The PR agencies and marketing agencies today know the power of social media in creating a public image or opinion.
Increase your global and local reach
Due to social media and various digital platforms, people in any part of the world can connect and interact with each other. This dissemination of information and news is very rapid and this is the reason why the world has become smaller today!
This works wonders for people in the public eye, especially for political personalities! To address the multi-ethnic groups in countries like the US and Canada, social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook play a very important role.
We are just scraping the surface! There are so many factors that affect how successful a political campaign would be on social media! The only thing one can be sure about is that the political game needs to adapt to the new changing environment where the social platforms serve the best purpose of connecting and promoting people, political agendas, and propagandas.