Political power of social media

President Barack Obama again used a sophisticated social media operation to engage and turn out his voters on election day last November. And his second inauguration just a few days ago saw a million tweets as well. So what’s the power of social media in politics? I was interviewed about this topic by Raycom Media.

The following are excerpts from the story “Social media, politics create power couple” on the website of Fox 6 in Birmingham, Ala.:

“Social media allows politicians to have direct communication with their constituents,” said Dr. Marcus Messner, [assistant] professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. “If the engagement is restricted to publishing press releases, however, the effect is rather limited.” (…)

“No nationwide or statewide campaign can now be successful without a social media campaign,” said Messner. “They are always on the lookout for the next social media scoop that drives the conversation of the hour.” (…)

“Voters have access to the politician and the campaign,” said Messner. “They do not have to attend an event to voice their opinion or express their support. They can also find many like-minded voters and organize with them.” (…)

“While it was something very innovative four years ago, social media is now part of the standard of political campaign,” said Messner. “Wherever candidates speak, there will be someone in the room with a cell phone and a social media connection.”

Please click here to read the entire story.


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