Social Media’s Influence in Orchestrating Election Campaigns
Over 4.5 billion social media users are sailing through various platforms, finding topics of their interests, and trying to engage with other users. The interesting thing is that most of them fall in the voting age in their respective countries.
While using social media for political campaigns is already a topic well-discussed, some of the benefits for doing so include:
Ruling out Incumbency Advantage
For the first-time office seeker who is facing a politically established incumbent, gaining ground can be incredibly difficult, and oftentimes even impossible.
This is what we call “the incumbency advantage,” according to which any incumbent has more advantage on political newcomers because of the widespread recognition they enjoy.
Thus political newcomers do not have any option other than prompting their bids on social media and gaining immediate traction.
Established politicians have to worry about the importance of social media in political campaigns equally, even if they have well-maintained social media handles, as the moment you start taking things for granted, you are at the risk of getting lost in the crowd.
Political Fundraising Using Social Media
In any business model, “cash is the king,” and this stands true for political campaigns as well. Social media provides unbelievable opportunities to you to accumulate big money to invest in your campaign to win public office.
Social media is in fact the single biggest way to rake in big money to your political campaign using crowdfunding, knowing that such a massive populus uses these platforms every single day.
Social media has leveled the playing field for incumbents and newcomers. With literally zero money, you can get a following, which you cannot build in years by relying on the traditional media channels.
Social Media is an Enemy of Traditionality
Barack Obama is known to be the pioneer of social media marketing in political campaigns. By going out of the box, Donald Trump took this game to a new level by tweeting about literally everything he wants to be.
Compare it with the traditional media channels for a moment. You don’t have to put on a coat and a tie to appear at a news conference or media channel. You can spread your message lying on your couch.
And the power is incredible. Most politicians have a worldwide following which allows them to get traction even in people who are not relevant to their elections. But this is important.
Unlike traditional media channels which the local population would watch, you are winning popularity among the masses at no extra cost, which increases the potential avenues for you in your career.
A channel with global outreach would be perceived as more authoritative by social media platforms, hence more people in your constituency will start seeing your posts in their news feeds. This is how the algorithms of these platforms work.
Close races can get decided by a small number of votes. You may have heard numerous times that every vote matters, but it can only be felt when you lose elections by a single vote which can happen if you do not focus on social media in election
Unlike other niches where the target audience can be too small to make a difference, politicians can influence everyone in their locality or country while running for elections.
Obviously, politics matter for everyone, and even if people do not hold any specific political ideology, their vote still matters.
This reinforces the importance to integrate two crucial entities, i.e., politics and social media. While rallies are still relevant and their importance can not be overlooked in any election, social media platforms can easily be used to persuade voters during any election of any magnitude.