Social medias impact on the presidential election

Mohammad Hakim, News Reporter

With the 2016 presidential race heating up, tech-savvy political candidates are stepping up, and executing on, their social media strategies. Since the last presidential election in 2012, President Barack Obama joined Twitter and hosted several chats on Reddit. It’s fairly standard today for politicians and their campaigns to have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. However, for the upcoming election, there are more social networks for campaigns to consider for advertising and outreach, including Snapchat and Instagram. These sites are particularly important because voters, especially millennials, have shifted their social media preferences to video, live streaming and “disappearing post” apps, such as Snapchat.

Following the 2014 mid-term elections, 16 percent of registered voters followed candidates for office, political parties or elected officials on social media, up 10 percent since 2010, according to a report from Pew Research Center. Those numbers may seem low, but it’s probable that since the report was conducted last year, interest in politicians on social media increased and more millennials and members of generation Z, who are avid users of many social media services, registered to vote.

As campaigning for the 2016 election increases, political strategies targeting newer social media sites will surely play a significant role. However, it remains to be seen how exactly how these efforts will influence voters and affect who becomes the next president of the United States. Candidates aren’t the only ones putting forth efforts on social. Social media providers are also getting involved and Snapchat being the most notable example.

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