Whaddaya Think: Is 2012 the Year of the Twitter Election?

By Posted in - Social Media & Whaddaya Think Wednesday on January 25th, 2012

We’d like to welcome our new intern Margot Horgan, a social media queen, to the scene. She’s kicking things off by starting a debate, if you will, on whether or not 2012 will be the Year of the Twitter Election. We encourage you to share your thoughts.

An example of a Twitter infographic from the S.C. Republican Debate.

As the dominance of networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook continues to grow, we are beginning to see the deliberate infusion of social media into the current political campaigns and primaries.

Both former press secretary Robert Gibbs and Twitter have already dubbed 2012 the Year of the Twitter Election. And, with the extensive use of Twitter and hashtags during the South Carolina Republican Debate, it seems that social networking will indeed play a large role in this election season.

During last week’s debate, viewers were encouraged to participate in the conversation by submitting questions via Twitter and by using the hashtags #answer and #dodge to rate how well the candidates answered each question.

Nearly 8,000 people used these hashtags to weigh in, providing real-time audience sentiment to each of the candidates’ answers within 15 to 30 seconds. From this data, we get awesome infographic timelines depicting the audience’s reaction to candidate responses.

Not only that, but debate commentators could the use the minute-by-minute Twitter data to bolster the need for more thorough responses from candidates.

So whaddya think, everybody? At the South Carolina debate, candidates were forced to answer to the live commentators and audience members and viewers tweeting from home. How else will social media impact the 2012 elections? Is it really the Year of the Twitter Election?

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