Saturday, March 24, 2007
Social Media in the 2008 Presidential Election
Social media will play a huge part in the 2008 Presidential election. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama include components of Consumer Generated Media (CGM) on their websites. They allow voters to view video content, create blogs and get involved.
I think it will be interesting to see how the political candidates continue to use social media in their campaign strategy. It will be very easy for a candidate to release viral videos full of mudslinging material. Political candidates will need to proceed with caution. They will need to be able to identify when they can use social media in their arsenal to attack the views of another candidate. They will also need to mitigate negative CGM and social media directed toward.
Personally, I think the upcoming presidential campaign will test candidates' abilities to deal with social media and CGM. It will be a clear indicator of which of them is the strongest. The frontrunner will be the candidate who is able to use social media in their favor the most. However, presidential candidates will need to keep a close watch. They cannot only be concerned about what their opponents are saying about them. Candidates in the 2008 presidential election must know what voters are saying about them. Presidential candidates can rest assured that voters will post and talk about all the issues their opponents may forget to bring up. It will be interesting to see how the candidates cope with negative discussion about them in the blogosphere. Will they try to reach out and connect with voters or leave it be?
I have provided an excellent example showing the impact that CGM and social media will have in the upcoming presidential elections. One person posted a spoof of the popular 1984 Macintosh commercial. The spoof primarily focuses on Hillary Clinton encouraging everyone to participate in the "solution" (i.e. solutions of todays' problems such as the War in Iraq). The spoof includes a clip of Hillary Clinton telling everyone that they are all part of the "discussion" and all part of the "team". The video posted on YouTube March 5, 2007. It already has more than 2,684,452 views along with 5,853 comments. Viewer comments about this video at YouTube frequently reference concerns with the war in Iraq.
The trend graph below calls out several key events leading to spikes in discussion for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.