How Social Media Strategy Influences Political Campaigns

If there is anything recent elections have proven, it’s that reaching out to voters online is not only important, it’s essential. The first notable use of social media to rally the voting community was during the 2008 Presidential election, when the Obama campaign took to the web to draw out the young vote. According to research by the Pew Foundation, 83 percent of 18-24 year-olds had social networking accounts in 2008, and two-thirds of those used those sites for political activity at that time.

Since then, the number of individuals using social media has swelled, and growing with it is the amount of people who use such venues to publicize their political views. From tweets and Facebook updates to YouTube videos and petitions, social media has become a power tool not only for official campaign teams but also for supporters.

To better understand how political campaigns are affected by social media, we spoke to some key players with experience in this realm. Sherri Greenberg is the Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research produced a 2012 study examining the influence of social media on Congressional campaigns.

David Cascino is the founder of “Thunderclap”, a platform that allows social media users to recruit followers to join campaigns — to amplify a single message to each of their followers at once. Finally, we also heard from former Tampa Bay, Florida, City Councilman and State Representative Rick Kriseman. Here’s what they had to say.

Read on at Sprout Social Insights.