In the past, politics had been a dull topic for me. However, with today’s evolving technological age and especially with the rise of social media over the last few years, it has become quite interesting for me. In the past before the age of social media, politicians used conventional means to reach out to their audiences, through the use of television, newspaper as well as radio or magazines (traditional media) to reach out to their audiences. This made it difficult for politicians to reach out to their audiences and they always had to ensure that they had a good campaign to reach out to their audiences.
However, with the rise of social media, this bridge between the politician and the electorate has been bridged. With social media sites like Youtube, Twitter and even Facebook, it allows the politician to be closer to the electorate as social media enables them to connect via these channels. A report was published by Colligent which discussed the use of social media and politics in America. It also showed the top ten most active politicians in the US. Among them were Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and so on.
By utilizing social media sites like Twitter, it allows politicians to be able to connect with their audiences as audiences have a channel to connect to their politician. For instance, voters can ask questions or voice their concerns that they will want the politician to answer, so as to allow the politician to know the needs and concerns of their electorate. An example of politician who uses this feature was Barack Obama who used twitter for his 2008 campaign that sparked off a lot of positive comments for him and his campaign, as he was the first few politicians who utilized social media for his campaign.
Many politicians are jumping on the social media bandwagon and it has proved successful for them, especially with the younger generation who are often online. According to an article by ReadWriteWeb, 88% of social media users in the US are registered voters. This shows that using social media as a platform to reach out to electorate is an effective way to garner support for the campaign of a politician because it allows for meaningful engagement. What’s more, it might even capture new voters for politicians.
Here’s an interesting video about the use of social media and politics: