Politics and social media may not have seemed to go hand in hand, but nowadays, a social media campaign is practically obligatory for political candidates. Unlike traditional political advertising which is one-way, the key to social media to be interactive. While campaigns already sometimes try to influence social media by removing negative comments from their pages or encouraging staffers and supporters to post positive comments, the most important thing is the comments from the public. The perspectives which social media users are confronted with online can sometimes produce a change in individual’s minds about political issues or even the candidates themselves. Research has shown that people trust commentaries from their peers more than they trust self-generated remarks from the candidate or their party. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report found that 20% of social media users say they’ve modified their stance on a social or political issue because of material they saw on social media, and 17% say social media has helped to change their views about a specific political candidate. Fascinatingly, persons who self-confessed to altering their thoughts on political candidates revealed that they did so because ‘social media pointed their opinion in a more negative direction’.
It is therefore important to monitor what other people are saying so that you can know what posts of yours or messaging is getting the most responsive, positive, feedback. New Politico has the ability to provide an accurate analysis of conversations on social media platforms, even with the sarcasm and innuendos that are often typical of political discussions. The more people who give reasons for their support for particular candidates on social media, the more likely someone will vote for that candidate.
The rush of Instagram posts, thought-provoking Facebook videos and Tweets that highlight celebrities, family and friends’ opinions on a plethora of political topics have big influence. Social media delivers candidates with tools for projecting images of approval or disapproval in ways that may carry electoral consequences.