What the Presidential Election Reveals about Social Media Trends

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Chris O'Brien, Marketing Communications WriterVoting in the 2012 election became a social media eventPolitics aside, the 2012 election is being called the most tweeted event in U.S. history, setting the record with over 20 million tweets.

From the beginning of the campaign season, candidates reached out to diverse groups through both traditional news outlets as well as social channels. And with Americans now spending as many hours online as they do in front of the TV, according to a 2010 Forrester survey, it begged the question of what role this shifting dynamic would play a role in campaign strategy.

Now more than ever, social communities have the power to influence and inform.

As polls opened, voting became a viral and communal experience as #ivoted hashtags exploded onto Twitter and voters began uploading Instagram photos of themselves waiting in line or even photos of their completed ballots (not realizing that in several states this action is illegal… oops!)

Alex Kantrowitz offers a look at 8 Big Social Media Takeaways from the campaign. For example, a single hashtag that resonates with an audience can help drive influence, but so can a powerful individual presence online. We also saw some of the most effectively communicated campaign messages passed on virally. The underlying takeaway seems to be that the more shareable and relatable the content, the more willing an audience is to engage.

What may be most remarkable is the extent to which the reach of social media has grown during the last few campaigns, especially when you consider that Facebook has only been in existence for a total of eight years – and Twitter, the social media star of the 2012 election season, is only six years old.


Chris O’Brien, Marketing Communications Writer Chris develops and designs content for a wide range of Aspect communications and social media applications. She continually monitors consumer trends to ensure that marketing messaging aligns with industry best practices and meets customer expectations.

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