October 19, 2016
Social media has become a staple in the lives of most Americans. Given this fact, it should serve as no surprise that it has worked its way into the race for the White House — most recently, the Presidential debates.
The Introduction of Social Media Into Politics
Ever since President Obama created a Twitter account and quickly snagged the title for most followers (a record which was later broken when Caitlyn Jenner entered the Twitter scene), social media has been a prominent fixture in politics. Even before then, social media played a pivotal role in the POTUS’s two Presidential runs, with platforms like Facebook and Twitter driving conversation around the election and encouraging people to vote.
The Role of Social Media in the Presidential Debates
During the second Presidential Debate earlier this month, social media became an even more influential factor in this year’s election. Most notably, it gave media the power to monitor the general public’s conversation before, during, and after the debate. It also served as a means of fact-checking candidates in real time, and users were quick to do so. In fact, Time has even ruled it the most tweeted about debate ever. Additionally, social media took center stage at several points during the debate itself.
For starters, the candidates’ social media accounts were posting throughout the night, monitored by campaign staffers assumably. The debate was also live-streamed on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, giving users a new and inventive way to view the event while interacting with one another in real time. Social media also served as a topic for discussion as the debate wore on, with moderators posing questions to the candidates asked by social media users in the “town hall” style forum. The candidates’ use of social media also became a topic of discussion when Donald Trump was posed a question regarding whether he had the discipline to lead, citing some of his Tweets as evidence to the contrary. In response, he defended his use of the “modern-day form of communication” and cited his follower count as a show of his strong support.
Even after the debate, social media was the primary focus, from the circulation of viral memes to the polls on various platforms that served to determine the winner. Social media has given the political process an open window into the American public’s perception of the candidates, and while it may not always be pretty, it is essential for evaluating the pulse of the presidential race.
Politicians aren’t the only ones who can benefit from gaining insight into the public’s perception. That benefit is available to businesses as well, and it’s one that needs to be taken advantage of. In the debate, social media was able to extract some answers (well, half answers at least) that the American public needed to hear. The same can be true for a company’s clients or customers. It is critical that business owners monitor social media, and better yet, engage in the conversation. Doing so allows them to better serve their target audience, thus achieving more success for the company. If you’re ready to dive into social media but aren’t sure where to start, our South Florida advertising agency is here to help. It’s time to hit the ground running. Let’s talk.