November 7, 2012

Social Media and the Election

What did we learn from last night and the last several years? 
"Is social media an election game changer -- the way television changed the debates between Nixon and Kennedy? That much remains to be seen, but it is another viable source of data that provides indications, and the observations should be keenly considered in conjunction with traditional polling data and focus groups," says PBS. I think their suggestion is seriously understated. It's not that social media is just another viable source, but rather that it is a tool that influences exponentially unlike anything we could have imagined. It's a game changer. The magnitude of social media outpouring during this and the last election is immensely significant! The use of tweets or comments outweigh any other tool used by the public. It's not a numbers game though, it is the pulse of public opinion. Pollsters, however, haven't quite figured that out. They look for ways to accurately measure (or count) social media opinion, therefore undervaluing its useful significance. That's important to understand! If it can't be calculated, is commenting or tweeting a microcosmic fleeting opinion that vanishes into the webosphere? Without merit, of course it is, but with merit it can be a powerful ripple. Social media is the outpouring of public opinion; the ability to voice, respond, persuade, rebut and grow - a source for powerful influential communication. 
Utilizing social media is absolutely necessary in marketing strategy, whether you're running for office or promoting your business. Ultimately, the staggering number of people participating in social media is forcing us to pay attention. After all, if social media can influence the outcome of a presidential election what can it do for your business?

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