Social media refers to electronic communication that helps users to create online communities for sharing ideas, videos, messages, pictures and music. Most users of social media are youths. Corporations are adopting the trend of using social media to advertise their products. Election candidates have discovered the impact that social media has on election outcomes. Using social media, they are able to reach majority of the youth voters. Social media has influenced America’s elections by helping candidates to facilitate their campaigns and win young voters.
Candidates vying for American’s 2012 elections are using social media to win the votes of the young generation. Most users of social media sites are aged between 18-30 years. The biggest percentage of America’s population constitutes of the youth. Candidates vying for election seats have discovered the importance of using social media in an attempt of wooing young voters (Sayre, Bode, Wilcox and Shah 18). Obama’s campaign adopted the strategy of using social media by asking supporters who use social media to share what was important to them during the election season. In addition, the campaign encouraged supporters to post pictures showing their hands placed over their chests to social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Obama has about 17 million Twitter followers. Romney also acknowledged how important social media is in winning the votes of young people. Currently, he has 2.5 million Facebook likes and 667,000 Twitter followers.
Candidates participating in America’s national elections are also using social media to facilitate their campaigns. Elections candidates post their manifesto in social media sites. The public view these manifestos in these sites and comment whether they support them. In addition, election candidates also post the strategies that they propose to adopt while conducting their campaigns in social media sites (Just, Crigler, Metaxas and Mustafaraj 11). It enables people to follow easily the campaign calendar of their favorite electoral candidate. Political analysts argue that the main reason that caused Obama’s 2008 campaign to be successful is because he used social media. Before 2008 elections, candidates mainly relied on broadcast advertising, debates and political rallies to communicate their campaign messages to the public. However, Obama used social media to communicate his campaign messages to the public. He formed the Obama application that allowed supporters to share his videos, speeches and inspiring quotes. He also used Twitter to update his followers where his campaign trail was. Furthermore, he used live video streams posted on Twitter to spread his campaign messages.
To conclude, social media has influenced elections in America by helping candidates reach young voters. Most youths have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Using social media, candidates are able ask the opinion of young voters what on changes they would like to experience after elections. Moreover, social media help election candidates to conduct their campaigns. Such candidates post information concerning their campaign trail, speeches and quotes on social media sites.