The internet. I have written about how it has changed society in some of my previous posts and I even talked about the impact Twitter had on the Presidential campaign. However, this story, in my opinion, takes social media to the next level.
It’s Election Day and both candidates are pushing hard to get every last voter to the polls and giving their best possible stump speeches. These speeches, which are being heard in person by a large crowd of people, are also being televised by news outlets across the country. However, speaking to public crowds and having that speech broadcasted across the country is not the whole equation anymore. Not in 2012. The internet is equally important and President Obama showed its importance on Election Day when he headed over to Reddit and posted about getting out and voting. I am sure he had similar posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. You name it. If it was a social media site, these candidates made sure they got their message across.
Here is part Obama’s message to the people of Reddit:
“I’m checking in because polls will start closing in this election in just a few hours, and I need you to vote. Millions of Americans have stepped up in support of this campaign over the last 19 months, and today we decide what the next four years look like — but only if we show up. If you’ve voted already, don’t stop there — spread the word to your friends, roommates, and neighbors. Think of it as upvoting.”
This is incredible. Even on Election Day, hours before the polls close across the country to determine who the next President will be, the incumbent President of the United States is aware of social media and not only is he aware of it, he uses it to his best advantage. This post is smart, savvy and even relatable. His analogy of upvoting is brilliant and really displays Obama’s and/or his political team’s ability to capitalize with social media.
And what social media does that is extremely helpful to politicians is that is connects with them directly. It cuts out the middle man. There is not filter between Obama or Romney and the people on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, like there is on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. There is no worry about how their message is interpreted as they connect with their followers just hours before a winner is decided in the election. That is the beauty of social media, and how it may be scary to some news outlets as these candidates do not need the news platform as much when these social media sites are easily accessible.
There was a time when a Presidential candidate could only get his message out by visiting the people. Then the radio came along and shortly after that the television, which changed everything. It allowed for these candidates to express their views to the public through television and news outlet. However, with TV and radio, there are journalists and analysts waiting to comment on what was just said. On social media sites, it is simply direct connection with the voter. Obama and Romney could not ask for a better platform than that.
Election Day speeches to get out and vote are not new, but Election Day posts on the internet are. One day, though, there will be a new “thing” and we will all look back at these social media sites and say, “I remember when . . . “