Here’s How Social Media Will Impact the 2016 Presidential Election

American Election

If we are to believe the figures estimated by Borrell Associates, U.S. politicians will be allocating over 9% of media budget towards digital and social media — this comes to an estimated $1 billion.

The efforts of electoral candidates and their social media agencies seem to be concentrated towards winning affection of millennials (25 to 34 year olds), and although no one can say today which candidate is going to win the elections later this year, one thing is clear: social media is winning the elections today.

Google is a leader when it comes to 2016 elections. From sponsored links in Google searches, YouTube video ads and the new-fangled programmatic display ads on online publishing websites such as New York Times, presidential candidates have a lot of scope to reach out to right audience through Google.

The new entrant is Snapchat: the first few candidates to run ads on this platform were John Kasich, Rand Paul and Scott Walker. Snapchat even hired ex-Google leader Rob Saliterman, who led political ad sales during the George W. Bush administration.

No article on the presidential elections is complete without commenting on the strategy adopted by Donald Trump’s social media experts. To say Donald Trump has won the social media battle is a serious understatement…he could very well be the first president who rewrote the rules on social media.

More in this article by Social Media Today.

World leaders on Instagram – 2016

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The most effective world leader on Instagram in 2016? Barack Obama – with more than 56,000 interactions (i.e. comments and likes) for every post on his profile. He is closely followed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.

Schermata 2016-02-17 alle 21.10.36The most liked Instagram post of all world leaders? The Thank You picture of Barack Obama after being reelected on November 7, 2012 👉

The latest seat of government to set up an official Instagram account? The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Do world leaders manage their own accounts? NO (with the exception of 15 world leaders that manage their Instagram accounts themselves and usually take their own pictures and selfies.

Instagram may not have the reach of its better-known social media rivals, but it has an ever-increasing following – something world leaders and their advisors have not been slow to recognize. The heads of state and government and foreign ministers of 136 countries currently have an official presence on Instagram. Learn more about how world leaders, governments and international organizations communicate via social media in the 2016 report by Burson-Marsteller.

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Consulting firms working with Presidential candidates

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We hear a lot about how much money the 2016 presidential hopefuls are spending on ads. But there’s an entire industry dedicated to churning campaign donor dollars into direct mail, TV spots, social-media efforts, data analytics, opposition research and more.

In this article by Ad Age, a list of media agencies, direct mail firms, political consultancies and data firms that earned $100,000 or more for the full year 2015 from the presidential campaigns still standing.

Twitter vs ISIS

Isis-hashtag-social-media-SIn recent months, Twitter has come under fire as ISIS propagandists used the platform to promote their cause and recruit would-be militants. While Facebook has taken a blunt approach toward removing posts that have even a whiff of terrorism, Twitter has sought to strike a balance between protecting free speech and cracking down on people who use Twitter as a way to promote violence or threats. In some cases, after all, one person’s political speech is another’s call for terrorism.

Twitter said in a post on Feb 5th 2016 that it continues to work to crack down on violent extremism on its platform: it has suspended more than 125,000 terrorist-related accounts since the middle of last year and it has added more people to the teams that review reports of terrorist propaganda in an effort to make speedier decisions about whether to remove it.

Politicians like Hillary Clinton have emphasized that the US needs Silicon Valley’s help in defeating ISIS as social media tools become crucial to how groups gain support and disseminate information.