If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, there is a very good chance you have been bombarded with campaign news and opinion just about every minute of every day for the last year and a half. Most of the chatter likely comes from your annoying, politically minded friends and followers, but the campaigns have also taken to social media like no election before. The campaigns for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have fought a bitter battle of memes, opinions, insight and slander in 2012 – and it has been hard to ignore.
The question is, though, who won the social media battle this year, Obama or Romney? See some examples of each and take the poll below.
The Second Social Media Election
In 2008, the presidential contest between Barack Obama and John McCain was considered the first true “social media” election. Many pundits believed that one reason Obama trounced McCain on election night was his superior and ubiquitous social media campaign. In 2012, the social media winner in the presidential election is not so clear cut.
The campaigns and their official supporters have been… interesting. Among other things, we have seen:
- Samuel L. Jackson telling voters to “wake the &%#! up” in a YouTube video sponsored by The Jewish Council for Education and Research.
- Obama’s campaign make pithy jokes over Facebook about Romney’s Big Bird snafu.
- Romney create memes over Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line from a stump speech.
- Daily updates of information or misinformation from both parties.
If you like this type of political banter, the last six months or so has been a series of treats in your daily news feed. If not, well, it is almost over.
Whose Message Is It?
It has been increasingly difficult this year to separate official campaign messages from the messages of the political action committees from the random warblings of your friends. That makes it tough to proclaim a winner of the social media side of this election. The sheer volume of pictures, status updates, meme generators, infographics and the like has been overwhelming from both sides. Even if you do not follow a single candidate on Facebook, Twitter or other social network, your friends probably do, and they have no doubt been sharing these status updates, pictures and videos for months on end. We might look at 2012 as the year when the volume of viral network effects of politically minded online sharing increased by orders or magnitude over previous election cycles.
Can we declare a winner for the best social media campaign? We put that question to you. Take the poll below and let us know what you think in the comments. What was your favorite social media moment of the election cycle?
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.