Social media is taking over traditional areas of campaigns, from fundraising to media to volunteer recruitment and more. Some now argue that social media is the most influential part of a campaign. Its effect is difficult to measure, however, because it encompasses so many parts of a campaign.
Fundraising, perhaps the most important aspect of a political campaign, can be extremely lucrative online. Ron Paul raised over $1 million within 24 hours online. A recent study of the California governor’s race found that the results of “social listening” closely correlated with polling and focus groups. Simply paying attention to social media – which is almost all virtually free - could save a campaign thousands of dollars otherwise spent on polling.
48% of 18 to 34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up in the morning. 65% of adults under age 30 cite the internet as their primary source for news, almost doubling since 2007. A full 34% of people ages 50 to 64 also rely on the internet for news. Twitter has become a better source for breaking news than any other news source.