Last week, President Barack Obama went on the air in front of a national audience and expressed his support for Gay Marriage. Almost instantly, Twitter broke.
OK, not literally. But the amount of tweets per second and the amount of times Obama’s name was mentioned in those tweets skyrocketed, as displayed in the graphs in the above link.
While the subject matter is a very important issue in the upcoming campaign (for both sides), I think something else came out of this that may or may not have been expected, but will prove to be a potential game-changer in November.
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pintrest. All of the most popular social media sites out there will be a factor in the election, either good or bad, for both Obama and Romney. In the 2008 election, Facebook and Twitter didn’t have the outreach that it does now in 2012. Getting the “youth vote” was a major goal of the Obama campaign of 2008, but he cannot just rely on getting the youth vote again. Both candidates will be going after the “Social Media” vote. The candidate who can best utilize all aspects of social media will have a major advantage.
At the same time, both candidates must be extremely careful (more so than ever) of the non-journalist. There can be no weak moments in front of crowds. There cannot be any flubs or gaffes. Everything is always being recorded. Someone is always ready to tweet or post an update. One wrong word at a small event that may have gone unnoticed eight (even four) years ago now has the potential to be retweeted and become headline news in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
My best words of advise to both Obama and Romey would be:
@BarackObama @MittRomney Beware the RT. Be careful what you say. #UseTwitterWisely #WeAreAlwaysWatching