Politicians and social media

It’s no secret that social media has become an increasingly important part of our society. Like others, politicians are embracing social media as a way to reach potential voters. Some candidates manage their own accounts (and manage to make epic mistakes), others leave them to campaign staffers.

On the day of the first presidential debate, I took a look at how Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s accounts were used. Both made donation appeals and sent campaign messages. Where the candidates differed was the use of social media during the debate itself. Obama’s campaign staff tweeted quotes, while Romney’s staff sent lists of staffers to follow. While Romney’s approach could increase the following of his staffers (and thus he reach later in the cycle), it does present an additional barrier to entry.

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