As we get closer to Election Day, one has to wonder at the effects of social media at the polls. Will more people come out to vote? Are they more informed and opinionated? They certainly have more opportunities to get to know the candidates.
Politicians have finally gotten on the social media bandwagon in a big way. Only a few members of Congress do not have a Twitter page. And many of those that do are avid tweeters rather than just handing it off to their PR division. We are discovering that politics and Twitter can work together.
Twitter is a great way for politicians to interact with their followers multiple times a day. They can be real and say whatever comes to mind-sometimes to the chagrin of their campaign manager, but it allows them to be themselves. People get to know the person behind the podium.
Followers love it because it doesn’t feel rehearsed and from some of the news headlines, it’s obvious that much of it isn’t. Anyone who doubts that only has to remember Senator Chris Dodd’s tweet that sparked a lot of comments after he used inappropriate language in one of his tweets. However, it is this embarrassment that makes fans love following their favorite politicians. It lets people see them as real people who make mistakes and say the wrong things. It also allows state and local politician to connect with their constituents in a way that you can’t do otherwise.
By sending private messages to a group of people, they can gain information provide their own information, and interact on a personal level.
Politicians have gotten very involved in tweeting. Some send out multiple tweets each day, especially during campaign time. According to a study, followers of political candidates who receive regular tweets are 97% more likely to donate to the campaign than others. With that kind of power, it is no wonder politicians get addicted to Twitter.
Apparently, this new dedication is paying off. Obama and Romney have the most followers now because of the upcoming election, which means they have a unique platform to use. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the next few weeks. You might want to check out Twitter on Election Day; that should be informative and entertaining.
[Image via huffingtonpost]