In an age where it seems impossible to escape any form of online social interjection within your daily routine - socials being a habitual element during your morning coffee, afternoon breaks and even just before your day ends, to the point where your LCD screen light is very likely to inform you that your social interactions are not done yet. With the US election confirming #trump as the 45th president of the United States of America, there is the overarching question of just how instrumental #Social media has been during Trump's election campaign and has social media become our new #Politics?
The Power Of A Social Master
Traditionally we were accustomed to political candidates focusing on employment, immigration, defence, and further issues within the country. Although segments of these issues were mentioned within this election, arguably at times both Trump and Clinton's rhetoric was seen as misplaced. If you followed this extraordinary and yet brutal campaign there is no question as to the level of contorted facts, slander, gossip, tirades of comical memes, comments and out right verbal defamation by both camps during the Clinton-Trump “campaigning”. Considering previous campaigns this one felt a lot more like handbags at dawn! However, an aspect that was even more interesting and shocking to watch, was the amount of social tweets, posts and social controversy that came along with this election. Where campaigners took to socials to continue either slaying or supporting each candidate. The sheer way of just how cleverly Trump utilized social media to not only engage followers but to influence votes was astonishing.
CNBC making reference to The New York Times stated they had "catalogued 282 times Trump used Twitter as a launch pad for insult comedy and offensive behavior". Much of his engagement directly came from Trump’s live video posts on Facebook, a campaign that appealed to the forgotten man. Whilst Clinton was reported by DNM News in late September “to have spent approximately $156.6 million on ads. At the time it being noted that Trump had 11.6 million Twitter followers and 10.7 million Facebook likes, compared to Clinton's 8.88 followers and 6 million likes”. "Trump Takes Social Media By Storm"
Clearly defining that the huge disparity in numbers would have a significant influence on opinion polling and ultimately determine who would be elected as president. Although historically this is not the first instance where the popular candidate has been elected. In this case popularity, with respect to social media, clearly played a key role, if not thee key role in who was elected into the White House. Trump's quick responsive, witty and savvy tactics on social media, whether you were for or against Trump, kept followers interested and repeatedly sharing this content, needless to say, aiding in Trump’s sweeping victory. Showing the direct impact of this approach of marketing. "Social Media Shows Donald Trump Wins In A Landslide"
In the case of this election some will argue that social media alone was only a small fragment of the underlying reasons behind Trump's victory. Many will argue that as a direct consequence of the migrant backlash this gave way to opportunity to the likes of Trump. Nonetheless, there is no denying that social media has changed the ways in which we absorb, communicate and ultimately elect our leaders.
It would be unjust and inappropriate to simply say that the minds of the simple ruled this election, particularly with the complexities of understanding the cognitive processes of social users and followers during certain key events or trending topics or fads. Having said that, it is safe to say that what we #like seems to have taken over what we #need, and thus to undermine the share power of social media just from monitoring this campaign alone, should have us all thinking how future campaigns will be orchestrated moving forward.