Social Media has emerged as one of the most powerful platforms available on the planet for marketing, networking furthermore building social connections. Today there are billions of internet users across the globe using different social media platforms. And practically speaking these platforms have actually captured their entire imaginations. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the extreme impact build by these internet networks is actually quite hard to mitigate. There is a lot about social media in politics which you might now know. This blog post would take you through how this platform is impacting the political landscape.
Social Media In Politics – A New Trend
Social media has become an increasingly significant part of the daily lives of billions of users, and politics is no exception. Its impact in politics has become the new trend as it grows in importance as a forum for political activism. Various social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube provide new and innovative ways to motivate the citizen’s engagement in political life. It is indeed one of the best ways to pull ideas out of a large audience in an incredibly short span of time. Guess this is one reason why governments from several countries (for e.g. USA & India) are becoming increasingly proficient furthermore proliferous to use the social media.
Social Media & Politics – When they hit
The rise of social media has transformed the way in which political communications are carried out. Political leaders, political parties, institutions, and foundations are all using the social media as a new way to communicate and engage with the voters. Individuals, politicians, thought leaders and similar people are able to express their opinions, engage with an extensive network, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Social media is moving the nature of communication to an all new level. Users can conveniently and directly connect with politicians and campaign managers and involve in political activities in new and innovative ways.
Connecting and expressing individual opinions is as easy as simply pressing the “like button” on Facebook or following someone on Twitter. The users have the freedom and options to share, like, or retweet any political message. Social media has also opened up new avenues for the politicians to reach out to their voters with their campaigns. But political campaigns run on social media can carry this huge risk of getting negative comments from critics and opposing party supporters, this can have an adverse effect on their supporter’s decisions.
Well, when social media and politics collide it has its own good, bad and ugly sides.
Social Media Is Changing The Political Landscape – 5 Ways
Now let us deliberate on the use and impact of the Social Media in Politics:
1. Direct Interaction – For Voters & Politicians
Social media tools (like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube) allow politicians to interact with the voters without spending a dime. In fact, this platform has allowed the politicians to totally dodge the traditional process of reaching voters which involved huge investments (like paid advertising).
Another positive impact to note is the increased opportunity for the voters to interact more easily with the political entities. Live streaming is one perfect example to state here, as it makes it possible to attend virtual events and interact with politicians and candidates.
2. Publish Campaigns For Free
The social media platform allows political parties to advertise their campaigns without paying for it. Political campaigns produce ads and publish it for free on YouTube\Facebook\Twitter instead of, or in addition to the paying for the time on radio\television. Kicking a large voters base is one benefit, but many times journalists also cover campaigns and write about such YouTube\Facebook ads, this essentially broadcasts the messages of the politicians to a wider audience at zero cost to the politicians.
3. Increased Popularity of Campaigns
Here we are basically going to talk about the concept of “VIRAL” in social media. Facebook and Twitter have become immensely helpful in organizing campaigns. They provide the option to share\retweet news and information to like-minded voters and activists. Well, features like “Share” and “Retweet” are exactly what works to increase the popularity of the campaigns. Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign is one perfect example to quote here – Trump used Twitter heavily to gain popularity among the voters.
4. Customize Messages Based Audience Demographics
A campaign can find one message more appropriate for the voters under 30 years old, but the same message might not be effective with the ones over 60 years old. The idea is targeting the right audience with the right message to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Politicians and candidates use analytics and target the voters by tailoring their messages based on audience demographics.
5. Rumors, Fake News and Controversies
Having direct access to a large volume of voters has its own down sides. While handlers and public-relations professionals try hard to manage a candidate’s/politicians image, many times rumors, fake news, and controversies land them in embarrassing situations. Huge streams of memes, rumors, and links on political leaders and candidates flow on the social media which is a mixture of truth, lies, speculation, and satire. Social media has actually made it really difficult to separate actual news from fake news.
Social Media and the Future of Politics
Well, since social media is moderately new, its influence on politics has just begun. The future is all set to witness many political changes due to the social media. Internet voting is one big trend that we can expect; this trend could definitely lead to increased participation in elections. Polling techniques would become more common and hopefully more accurate. Expect more virtual political rallies; this one is surely going to be an interesting site to observe.
Social media has redesigned structures and methods of modern political communication by transforming the way politicians interact with voters and each other. But, the role of this marvel in increasing electoral participation and political engagement is neither clear nor simple.