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.


12 comments:

gary said...

>The frontrunner will be the candidate who is able to use social media in their favor the most.

I don't agree. The smart candidates will stop playing games and actually address the issues. The voters will eventually insist on it.

www.ExpertVoter.org

At least that what I chose to believe.

gary

MarketRMan said...

Nice take Gary. I agree that smart candidates should focus on addressing issues. However, I still feel social media will prove to play a pivotal determining which candidate becomes president. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are already using video content online to get their message out to voters. Also, voters will post videos and spoofs to show what values they look for in candidates.

merjoem32 said...

The candidates can benefit from presidential video clips but these videos can also harm them. The controversial Hillary 1984 video is a great example. Effective online attacks on the candidates have also been made possible through these videos.

MarketRMan said...

Merjoem32,

You point some good points here and I do agree that online attacks will be very prevalent during this campaign. Presidential candidates and attack one another with them. Likewise, voters can make their own to bash candidates of their choice.

Anonymous said...

But that's the great thing about the internet...it's YOUR choice whether you watch attack videos or not. So the answer is simple. Don't watch them!

gary
www.ExpertVoter.org

MarketRMan said...

Overall, I do agree with your opinion that the ability to choose is the great thing about the internet. It is MY choice to watch them. Personally, I find some of them entertaining.

Anonymous said...

I agree...as long as people can separate entertainment from education, we're in good shape. Of course that's a big IF. With the internet you just need to find a trusted source. I must really be old...I remember when you had only THREE such choices...ABC, NBC, or CBS. In hindsight I don't think that was much of a choice. We've come a long way.

gary
www.ExpertVoter.org

MarketRMan said...

And nowadays, we have abc, nbc, cbs plus cable/satellite stations and google video, YouTube, Metacafe...etc.

MarketRMan said...

Gary,

I visited expertvoter.org. It is a nice site. I like how you are featuring candidate videos regarding various issues. Please feel free let me know if I can assist in any way in regards to finding good polical fodder online.

Marketrman

I'll make sure to update Expertvoter.org to my blogroll.

Anonymous said...

Marketrman,

Much thanks for the kind offer. I'm always looking for more videos. You can submit them here. They don't have to be perfect....if the candidate doesn't like what's posted, they can always point me to another as I give the candidate the last word.

General suggestions about the website are also much appreciated...

gary

MarketRMan said...

I'll let you know if I have any. Offhand, do you have an email address. You can reach me at www.conceptsmarketingresearch@hotmail.com.

Ron

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