Social Media and Politics

Social Media has become the latest, highly effective tool for campaign, candidate and issue advocacy, and for some good reasons.

  • It’s cost effective.
  • Like minded individuals can easily join up and participate.
  • It’s viral. Years ago there was a shampoo commercial that deployed the tagline “And they told 2 friends, and they told 2 friends and so on, and so on, and so on.” We used to call it “Word of Mouth”—now we call it social networking and it pervades all forms of communication.

Here are some numbers from a 2012 Pew Research Center study:

69% of American Adults use social networks

66% use Facebook

16% use Twitter

22% of Registered Voters shared their Presidential votes on social media

38% say they “like” or promote materials about political or social issues posted by other people

35% have used social networks to encourage other people to vote

34% have posted their own thoughts on political or social issues

28% have used social networks to post links to articles or news about political issues or candidates

20% have used social networks to follow candidates or elected officials

12% have used Facebook to get their political news (this number doubled during the 2012 campaign).


Source: Pew Research Center, November 29, 2012