In the past one year, US has totally spent over 1284 years by reading things about Donald Trump through social media. The reach of this presidential candidate is unprecedented, as per the latest reports from SocialFlow which is a company of social media management whose software deals with the dissemination of news for a lot of the top organizations of media in the country.
If Trump was to obtain such attention through the purchase of ads, he would have to spend over 380 million dollars. But he gets his reach for free through tweets, shares, and likes. Not to mention that many of them are negative. The influence of social media on the current election for the president is powerful when compared to how powerful it has been in the past and the cycle of information it has generated can mold campaigns in the coming years as well. There are plenty of reasons why social networks have turned into such a strong influencer.
Most people now get their news primly from social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. The presidential candidates have found the fastest way to trend in news by putting up a comment or a statement on their social network posts. Patrick Ruffini, who is a political strategist as well as the founder of a digital media company known as Engage says that social media have actually opened doors for candidates to reach out to their voters as well as news consumers that get information on these candidates all the time. According to him, this is certainly the first election wherein candidates have identified that social networks can directly lead them to mainstream coverage of media and also to their voters.
This leads to a “feedback loop” as Ruffini calls it. Here, posts of the candidates on social networks make big news and such news is again circulated on social media which will increase the momentum of their reach and create much more chatter. The Co-founder, as well as the chief officer of products for SocialFlow, Frank Speiser, tells that this election is the first real social network election. Though social media was an auxiliary way of communication earlier, now candidates can directly put up messages and get people on social media to react. There is no need of purchasing access to reach out to millions of voters anymore.
With over 1.6 billion active users of Facebook and 385 million active users of Twitter, public reach isn’t a herculean task anymore. Now, social media has been a thoroughly thought strategy and candidates have started using social networks like Facebook and Twitter as a direct pipeline through which voters can be reached. This particular sensation has been fruitful, especially for the fact that it reaches to young voters as well. About two-thirds of young people aged between 18 years to 29 years stated that social media has helped them learn plenty of new things related to politics.
All in all, social media has really proved to be a worthy method of connecting to people, for candidates who look for maximum reach to their voters.