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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 05, 2012

Hey, Politicians, social does matter

As the 2012 Presidential Election heats up in the US, data from NM Incite shows the social sphere may have a bigger impact than expected. According to their data in three of the four 2010 election races studied, the candidate with the most 'social mentions' won the seat.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers studied campaigns in California, Florida, Ohio and Maryland. In California, Florida and Maryland the candidates who were mentioned most frequently on social networks won the election. But, interestingly enough, it doesn't seem to matter about the party affiliation of the candidate. NM Incite's research shows the Democratic and Republican party 'buzz' fairly equal for the 2010 election cycle.

One more reason for politicians to hit the social networking circuit - voter turnout. While the social buzz about candidates increased sharply in 2010 voter turnout was also higher than in year's past. Those high turnout numbers weren't because of social network reminders, though, finds the report. But it is interesting that in a year when more people talked about candidates on social networks more people also voted.

"In each contest, online buzz followed a specific pattern: high buzz immediately following their primaries, followed by a period of fewer social media mentions, and with buzz peaking during the week leading up to Election Day," was written in the report.

Will the same thing happen in 2012? That remains to be seen, but conversations about politics have already begun hitting the social sphere. From the controversy over women's healthcare rights and buzz about the candidate nominations, people are talking about the upcoming election. News organizations are tweeting about it, and candidates are putting debate clips, commercials and other content up on sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: 2012 Election, NM Incite, political advertising, social marketing, social networks, social profile

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