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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 01, 2011

Social media to play pivotal role in 2012 Presidential Elections

Social media is the 'must-have' media tool of the 21st century, according to a new survey by brand agency Digitas, with almost two-thirds of adults expecting candidates to have a social media presence.

by Helen Leggatt

Listen up 2012 candidates. According to Digitas 82% of US adults use social media, and 88% of those are registered voters.

Furthermore, almost two-thirds (61%) expect candidates to have a presence on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Such is the power and reach of social media that Digitas expects that, just as JFK was considered the first television President, 2012's winner could sway their victory via social media.

"In at least the last two election cycles, digital media has taken a profound a role in determining our next president as TV did in earlier generations," said Jordan Bitterman, SVP and Social Marketing Practice Director, Digitas. "But the results of this new research show that the extraordinary power of social networks to connect us and build relationships may have even greater impact on who wins in 2012."

Other key findings for candidates to consider include:

- Over half (51%) of young social media users (18-34) will search social media for information on who to vote for compared with 38% of 35-44 year olds, 29% of 45-54 year olds and 23% of those aged 55 and over.

- The vast majority (86%) of social media users own a mobile device as do 88% of social media users who are registered voters.

- 38% said that social media will have the same influence on their vote as would traditional media such as television and radio.

Tags: Digitas, Presidential Election, social media, survey, US

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