Many of the people who use social media everyday could not imagine their life without it, but I wonder if they have taken the time to contemplate what the political atmosphere they are surrounded by would be like without it. Now, I work in politics so my view may be a little skewed, but just like with a restaurant or a retailer, a lack of social media presence can never be seen as a smart move. Although the degree of how “good” that presence is is based on various factors, in many cases the most important thing is just to have one and to work from there because to not have one many times is to not exist.
When looking at this in terms of politics many of the same principles apply – especially with national politics. When there are events going on across the country, speeches being made every other day, and grassroots supporters doing awesome things in every corner of every state, social media presence is really one of the only ways to make sure a majority of those things get exposure. Now, what if these events don’t get exposure? Does it mean the election is lost? Not necessarily, but I think of it like this: if these things are not seen then they are not helping the candidate to their fullest potential and in an election year like this every last vote is going to make an impact.
One of the most important things about social media, especially when concerning politics, is that it is free! Well not entirely, there are the staff who gather content, edit it, publish it, and work on increasing the value of the social media, but it is a lot less expensive than advertising and in many ways more affective. When someone sees a commercial on TV or hears an ad on the radio that is typically the end of it until they hear another one, but with social media millions of people can repost, and like, and share what they see so the reach of the content is exponential.