Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Social Media and Decision 2016

Much like the 2012 Presidential Election, social media has been heavily utilized and is a huge influence on prospective voters. But let’s be honest, four years is a long time in the social media world and there are some changes. 2012 say YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as the media workhorses. Now that we’re in 2016 the weapon of choice has added Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine to the mix. While the idea of using celebrity endorsements is not new, social media has completely revolutionized it. It’s all too simple for a star to provide a photo to be featured on the campaigner’s accounts, or simply repost something from that politician. One must never underestimate the value of publicity from the meme category. These days, the effectiveness of a campaign is often measured in the number of followers, likes, and reposts.

Hillary Clinton enlisted Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls, to promote her social media and 43,500 likes and more than 1,800 comments on one of her pictures since then. Bernie Sanders scored a hit with rapper Killer Mike in the form of a six-part interview on YouTube. Said video garnered upwards of 1.8 million views with another 275,000 views on Facebook. Ted Cruz recruited Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty for a one-minute video depicting the two on a hunting trip which accredited him with 1.2 million view in just one week. Trump himself hasn’t appeared in YouTube videos quite like the others, however he has a very popular twitter account with 6.36 million followers to his name.

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