5 Ways Social Media Could Impact The 2012 Election

By on November 21, 2011

President Obama won the 2008 election with a super explosive social media campaign. But how will social media impact the 2012 elections? With a world of new technologies rushing into the public sphere every few months, you have to ask yourself – which new social gimmick will win the day? Or will it be a collection of old social tricks that will extend Obama’s presidency?

Here are 5 ways social media could impact the 2012 election!

#1: The Evolution of Social Thinking

In 2008, social media was newer than new, and Obama was the only candidate to use this method of gaining new voters in the younger age demographic. But it’s not 2008 anymore, Facebook has jumped from 100 million to 800 million users, and people are sharing much more content and opinion now. President Obama’s social team is really going to have to dig for supporters now.

Simply being on the platform and repeating positive affirmations is not going to work this time round. Young people are still unemployed. America is still in a rut. Nothing much has changed since 2008. People are plugged into this sentiment, so a fresh angle is needed, and a powerful one.

#2: Foursquare Incentive Support

In 2008 Foursquare was but a twinkle in its founder’s eye. But the potential to use Foursquare to add real world incentives when campaigning is the real deal breaker. If candidates can harness the power of check-ins and badges, they may see a lot more support at rallies, from the younger generation. Link these real world check-ins with Twitter hashtags, and we could see powerful ideas syndicated at lighting speeds, from our good old friend – cloud sourcing.

#3: Youtube Fueled Testimonials

You already know that nothing is as powerful as public sentiment. If a friend likes or does something, you are more likely to do it yourself. This concept acts on various levels. The 2012 candidates might prompt young supporters to record Youtube videos of themselves, their thoughts and why others should participate. These real world testimonials may be the hidden glue in an otherwise wayward social campaign.

#4: The QR Code Revival

Seeking a way to interact closely with their voters, candidates might rely on QR codes connected to real world functionality, to send a message and prompt actions. These QR codes can help with a number of candidate problems, namely donations, endorsements and organizational ability. Look out world, here comes the age of the hidden message.

#5: Mobile Tech Takes To The Sky

Politicians are realizing the need to reach the younger age demographic on their mobile phones. Not only is this a sure-fire way to get them involved, it reaches them on a uniquely personal level. Connecting their campaign on Facebook and updating fans, will result in mass smartphone syndication, along with thousands of new supporters. Mobile technology could be the reason one candidate wins, and the other doesn’t.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens. These are our best guesses, but they’re very relevant to any politician that wants a shot at winning.

What do you think? How will social media affect the 2012 election?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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