By BentleyForbes Analytics , Beverly Hills, CA
“It’s official, Facebook and Twitter will decide the next GOP candidate,” says Keith Gilabert Executive Director of BentleyForbes Analytics. As the GOP candidates are getting ready for another round of low blows and finger pointing this weekend in New Hampshire, Facebook will be streaming the presidential primary debate though a partnership with NBC News.
Mitt Romney’s victory was on paper only. Many observers state the race was to close to call according to the AP Press. Romney won the Iowa GOP by 8 votes over Rick Santorum, more than 122,000 ballots were cast, a record for Iowa Republicans. With such a close race the New Hampshire primary should make the action much more interesting.
Gilabert says “the GOP Candidates are using social media more than ever before. Their views and positions can be viewed on such sites as Facebook.com and Twitter.com which rank in the top ten on google.com search results.” President Obama’s 2008 campaign changed the way we view social media and it’s relations to getting potential voters to act.
The Meltwater Group is currently monitoring the candidate’s campaigns by tracking and analyzing posts on blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Gilabert says, “this is an excellent way to monitor word cloud and the candidates can use this tool in a very effective way by fine tuning the messages they are sending and getting real time feedback.”
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has reported the 2008 election for the first time “more than half the voting-age population used the internet to connect to the political process during an election cycle.”
A recent survey by Digitas, found that 61 percent of adults expect the candidates of the 2012 U.S. presidential election to have a social media presence. Almost have of the respondents stated they will base their decisions on information found on social media sites such as Facebook. Com and Twitter.com. According to Digitas, 88 percent of U.S. adults that are social media users are also registered voters.
President Obama already has a strong presence on social media. President Obama’s campaign also started a page on Myspace.com with over 110 million members in 2008. He is on 15 social networking sites and has over 5 million friends, 3 million of those friends on Facebook alone. As reported by The Social Pulpit: Barack Obama’s Social Media Toolkit, by Edelman, President Obama started a profile on AsianAve.com, MiGente.com and BlackPlanet.com.
The Edelman toolkit explains that during Obama’s campaign to the White House, nearly 2,000 YouTube.com videos were watched more than 80,000 times. Gilabert explains, “this allowed people to watch content by the Obama campaign as well as user generated content, this strategy gave the people the feeling they have a voice that is being heard.” Posts on Youtube.com opened the doors to discussions from the neighbor around the corner to the voter across the country. “President Obama’s campaign could challenge any opposition head-on by posting a video at any time or place, social media has become a very powerful tool” says Gilabert.
Through the use of social media, President Obama shaped the future of elections. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter has become a part of our lives, and future candidates will have to incorporate these sites into their campaigns if they want to win.