Social media is a part of the fabric of daily life. People wake up, check their accounts, interact with others, and remain glued to the latest news. It’s no wonder, then, that social media has become a huge part of politics. Dozens of scandals have erupted over the last few years because of the misuse of various platforms, and politicians from the local level to the national, have taken to social pages in order to get their messages out. As the presidential election cycle begins to move, it is important to consider how the various social platforms will be used in the latest election.
To some degree, one can already see this form of communication at work. Candidates like Bernie Sanders have raised a great deal of money through grass-roots campaigns organized online. Indeed, a number of candidates who might not otherwise have a chance of being heard are gathering followings online even as they appear to be ignored in the popular media.
At the same time, established candidates are flocking towards platforms like Twitter and Instagram to stay relevant. Be it updating profile pictures to show solidarity with certain social movements, or keeping donors informed about the latest movements in one’s platform; it seems like these are the places for candidates to interface directly with their would-be constituency.
It is very likely that social media will play a huge role in the lead-up to the next election. While the election itself is not likely to be greatly influenced by anything found online outside of a major snafu, the wide-open primaries will be fought largely on the internet. As more people turn towards these sources for news and communication, the smartest candidates will have to remember that much of their campaign will have to be laid out on a set of services that were largely irrelevant a mere decade ago.