In early 2007, Barack Obama was a little-known senator running for president against Democratic nominee and household name, Hilary Clinton. But on November 4, 2008, Obama, was the first African American to win the election against Republican candidate, John McCain, becoming the 44th president of the United States.
We can say that a major success factor for Obama’s victory was how Obama’s campaign used social media and technology as an integral part of its strategy, to raise money and more importantly, to develop a groundswell of empowered volunteers who felt they could make a difference.
In 1960, Americans turned on their tv to watch a presidential debate for the first time. They saw Richard Nixon, awkward and sweaty. To his right was John F. Kennedy Jr, calm, tanned, deliberate, standing out in his dark suit. There wasn't much question about who won the first televised debate that night. In an election in which nearly every vote counted, media power shifted public opinion.
We are now in the era of Twitter. The proof is in Twitter's big role in shaping the coverage and the winners and losers of this month's presidential debates.
Sixty percent of social media users responding to a survey in October 2011 said that they expect candidates to have a social media presence.
For almost 40 percent, information found on social media will help determine their voting choices as much as traditional media sources like TV or newspapers.