Consumer Watch: Social media's impact on campaigns

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 6:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- When it comes to social media, winners and losers can learn lessons from the outcome of the 2012 elections.

There is a new landscape for politicians these days, and it's dominated by tweetable moments and great facebook debates. Let's face it in political campaigns substance often takes a back seat to style.

Not long after a concession was made in Boston and confetti fell in Chicago, the speculation was underway, what happens in  2016? 

Future candidates can take a lot from the 2012 race and that includes the way they interact with the voters. 

Matt Ragas of DePaul University studied the use of social media throughout the 2012 campaigns. Perhaps the biggest development in the voter-candidate relationship is use of the second screen.

“How many of us were also multi-tasking, looking at their twitter feed? Or playing around on facebook? We're much more where we can jump on something right away and there's multipurpose, multiple things going on at the same time,” said Ragas.

That's why things like a "binders full of women" and a "Joe Biden's smirk" twitter account showed up before surrogates could even hit spin rooms. “We are having an amplified voice, in terms of the average ordinary person, is contributing now, to that discussion, and their voice is increased to some extent,” said Ragas.

Voices that all politicians including Tuesday's winners and losers should probably keep up with. 


 

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