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How Political Campaigns are Using Social Media for Real Results

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We routinely hear politicians preach about how devoted they are to being open and contactable, but how often do we see them actually follow through on such promises? It looks like social media may prove to be one way for politicians to do just that. I am a firm believer in the usefulness of social media for use in business applications, but as this piece I found at Mashable points out, the same great qualities that make social media tools attractive to businesses also have great potential for utilization in politics.

Such applications could include everything from the potential for political openness and transparency using services such as Facebook and Twitter, to creating virtual gathering points on the social web for groups of political supporters. Campaigns could also use social media to create highly relevant and targeted advertisements reaching only the people who care about certain issues. With social media, public figures and organizations can reach their constituents like never before, and this could be a huge step forward for political involvement in our democracy.

How Political Campaigns Are Using Social Media for Real Results

Just as social media has opened a dialogue between businesses and consumers, its value is apparent to those in political office, whose work and very professional survival hinges on the needs and perceptions of their constituents.

But when was the last time a local politician garnered the same social media buzz as a hip startup, or a savvy online retailer?

As it stands, the social web is ripe with opportunities for candidates and office holders alike to connect with voters, foster transparency, and even spar with opponents in the same ways they have been in the traditional media for hundreds of years. We spoke with some innovators who have been tapping into the political power of social media. If their work is any indication, expect the future of elected government to be measured in fans and followers, as well as votes.

via How Political Campaigns Are Using Social Media for Real Results. Posted by Matt Silverman.