Mohammad Alshereda is one of the foremost scholars on social issues. He encourages everyone to pursue further knowledge as this is one of the surest ways to move society forward. He earned his degree from the College of Social Sciences at Kuwait University and is now a member of four separate professional sociological organizations. He also studies social media and its influence on elections. Here is a summary of his analysis.
Over the past few years, there have been a lot of changes in how political candidates and organizations campaign. In centuries past, many campaigns took place in front of giant town halls with as many people as could fill the room. Later, these campaigns evolved to include billboards, spots on radio stations, TV commercials, print ads, and more. Now, one of the major driving forces behind political campaigns and elections is the use of social media. Social media has had a profound impact on how candidates organize and structure campaigns, trying to reach as many people as possible and affect change in social issues.
First, social media has allowed candidates to reach a younger generation of voters who previously might not have been as engaged with a candidate or their platform. Younger people are the majority of users on social media, even though the prevalence of older individuals on these platforms is starting to grow as well. Therefore, candidates who are trying to win the support of younger voters are trying to use social media to quickly reach and interact with these individuals. Many political candidates create accounts specifically for their campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and more.
Furthermore, candidates can even use these platforms to conduct their own polling information. Many candidates like to use these platforms to interact on a personal level with their voters. Many people who interact with their candidates through social media feel like the candidate is speaking directly to them. In this fashion, candidates can conduct a poll and elicit feedback from their supporters on a specific campaign issue or even facets of their platforms. In this sense, social media has taken elections and personalized them amount the voting population. Most political candidates are trying to take advantage of these platforms to discuss important issues with the voters outside of a town hall setting.
Candidates are also able to tailor their messages to meet their specific audience. Without a doubt, candidates are able to change the type of banner, images, and videos that people see based on the individual’s age, geography, or other metrics listed on their profiles. In this manner, candidates are able to present different sides of themselves to different people. This allows them to tailor their image on the eyes of the voter to meet exactly what that specific voter is looking for. This type of political maneuvering was challenging prior to social media.
Finally, candidates can even use social media to advertise without actually paying for advertising. Those who have created an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram know that it is free for anyone to use. In this fashion, political campaigns are able to create an account and advertise the various parts of their platform without having to pay for air time on radio or TV networks. Therefore, candidates are able to advertise while also saving money that can be spent in different ways. Social media has drastically changed how candidates campaign and run their election pushes.