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US 2012 elections and the influence of social media

November 07, 2012 at 2:05 PM


by Mikul Patel

Digital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis

After months of aggressive campaigning from both candidates, America finally took to the polls and re-elected Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Whilst the traditional methods televisions adverts, post mailings and public appearances were used to drum up support and awareness, we also saw a greater use of social media compared to 4 years ago...after all, Facebook and Twitter usage has rapidly grown and connected more people together than ever before.



The influence of social media

A recent study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that around two thirds of US adults used social media in a way that could be deemed as being active in political issues. Other findings when using social media included:

social media influence 2012 us elections


  • 38% promoted political content that friends have posted
  • 34% wrote their own political comments
  • 33% reposted or retweeted content related to political or social issues
  • 34% broadcasted via multiple social media accounts to encourage voting
  • 31% encouraged others to take action on a political or social issue



The social media election

Not just limited to the voters, social media, in the run up the 2012 elections, was also actively used by the politicians. Whereas in 2008, where politicians may have not appreciated the power of social media, this time round it was estimated that 9 out of 10 senators and representatives had Twitter accounts.


A very informative info-graphic found at draws upon some interesting findings in the election run-up:

  • 2 million tweets per week mentioning the candidates
  • 4 out of 5 adults got their election news from the internet
  • in 2010, one Facebook message was sent to 60 million users and that prompted 340,000 additional people to vote

Measuring the social buzz

Social media monitoring can produce some interesting conclusions and findings that you may have not thought of. Whether you are analysing for fun or are in an social media analyst role, social media monitoring can be a daunting task especially when you are faced with so much data.


As experts in web analytics and reporting, Matraxis can assist your social media monitoring needs by providing you the tools and tips to make you a successful social media analyst. Get in contact with us today to start discussing social media!

Tags: Social Media Facebook Twitter US Elections
Category: Social Media News

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