Tweet the Vote: Is Social Media Impacting Political Engagement?

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Social ElectionThere is no doubt that social media is certainly enabling the campaigns to measure the volume of political discourse in a way it hasn’t been able to do before. Social media also enables people to extend their discussions beyond just the people they see around the water cooler. Since the start of the televised 2012 presidential debates, the social buzz has been immense.

According to Eleanor Dowling writing for social research firm, Bluefin Labs:

The second presidential debate generated 12.24 million social media comments – 11.7M tweets and 572K public Facebook posts. This makes it the #3 most social TV event of all time, across all programming genres. It just barely overtook Super Bowl XLVI, which had 12.20 million comments. The first presidential debate garnered 11.2M comments.

The audience question to Romney on immigration generated 109,560 tweets per minute (TPM) followed closely by President Obama’s comment to Romney, “You’re the last person to get tough on China” (108,619 TPM). The Associated Press reported that “women dominated the social media conversation about the debate. Some 54 percent of comments came from women, 46 percent from men.”

Does all of the chatter mean that more people are engaged in the process? Is social media reaching people in ways that traditional TV and radio ads don’t?  Honestly, just like the presidential election itself, it’s too soon to tell.

One thing is certain, social media users have one more opportunity to light up cyberspace. The last debate between President Obama and Governor Romney will take place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday October 22. If you missed any of the two previous presidential debates or the vice presidential debate, you can find links to the full debate videos at 2012 Election Central.

Image Credit: Shutterstock /Rafal Olechowski

Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross

Content & Outreach Goddess at AuthorityLabs
Michelle Stinson Ross is a digital marketing industry recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked as a community manager and consultant for several brands to increase brand awareness, raise the visibility of special promotions, and train their teams to use the social space to connect with media influencers and the public. Michelle is part of the marketing team at AuthorityLabs and co-hosts #SocialChat, a Twitter based live chat that covers a variety of topics geared toward social media marketing (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET). Her passion for social media marketing has made her a regular conference speaker at events like ClickZ Live, and Search Marketing Expo. She has also been a featured guest on Webmaster Radio and several industry Hangouts on Air.
Michelle Stinson Ross
Michelle Stinson Ross
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  • Marc Helman

    Nice post.

    Social media and it’s impact on engagement and elections is something I’ve thought some about. The thing about Twitter is, I find most of who I am following have similar political views. It’s a bit of an echo chamber – and I would bet it’s that way all over the Internet. People network with people of similar taste.

    • Michelle Stinson Ross

      True, Marc we do tend to follow other like-minded people. But when you get out of your personally aggregated streams and onto the hashtags, the sentiments are pretty well balanced. As a matter of fact I noticed a lot of people simply observing rather than shouting down one side or the other.

  • Harindra Bhatt

    As per my observation “Everything that is relates to humans would have some impact on community.” Social media is spreading everywhere in the world. So I will also influence the mind of participants too. In the tough time, everybody is curious to take the lead and share their views on social media due to its popularity.