How effective was social media in the 2010 elections?

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It has been three days since the election and I am quite happy to stop seeing all the hate ads on TV. With as fast as social media is moving these days I was surprised to not see more of it. It seems many of the officials are still going big budget on commercials, door to door marketing, and phone calls.

It seems like the candidates could of ran a much more lean campaign by leveraging social media and the internet more. Sure the politicians had a facebook page and a twitter page, but I don’t feel like many candidates utilized it to the fullest extent. I think Twitter must of noticed this too by adding Adam Sharp as their most recent hire.

On any given social network you have a pretty good profile of the users and their online activity, based on that you may be able to find the sentiment of a given candidate at any time during the election. Candidates would know what part of the state/district to tackle based on conversation. There are lots of tools out there that can retrieve this type of information. This could take out a lot of the door to door and calling. People don’t want to be bugged by someone, but they already are on their social networks so why not try to address the issues people are concerned about. If the candidate shows they are listening to people perhaps they will have a better chance at being elected. Then the people will feel like they are included when the elected officials goes to vote on a bill or issue.

Before you know it the pre-election polls will be based on activity on social networks instead of calls to homes. As the country becomes more mobile the use of land lines is becoming dates; thus, requiring the pre-polling to go one of two ways mobile phones (oh no) or the web.

I think when the 2012 election comes around people in the social media field are going to be high in demand. So all you social media marketing experts polish up that resume and start planning your "strategery" now.

…Then again maybe not, I am not sure I want to see all the attack ads and rhetoric plaguing my social networks.

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