By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
It is now the day after. The election is over and we have all the results except for a few too close to call. We now don't have to be bombarded anymore with the negative ads and propaganda. There were many angry politicians out to smear their competition on both sides this year. So I hope we can all put it behind us and pull together to help make us all proud of this country.
Social media played an much more prominent role in this year's election than in 2008. If you visited Facebook at all yesterday you would have seen at the top of the page their official app that asked if you had voted yet. The app also helped you locate the nearest polling place and gave you a badge that you could post on your wall and into friends' newsfeeds to show that you had voted. I posted it on my wall, did you?
Facebook also has created an official U.S. Politics on Facebook page that highlights the use of Facebook by politicians, elected officials, and political campaigns. The Page also shares tips and best practices as well as news from Facebook and live streaming video coverage on election night from ABC News under the "Vote 2010" tab. The tab enables you to invite your friends to also watch the coverage on this page.
According to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, typical turnout for midterm elections is only around 40%. So, did Facebook help get more people to the polls this year? Facebook has reported that more than 12 million people clicked the "I Voted" button yesterday compared to about 5.4 million in 2008. Also, did Facebook popularity help in predicting Election Night winners? The Facebook political team's initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, their initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.
Twitter also was heavily involved in the election day coverage. There were several feeds people could follow such as the Democrats (@thedemocrats), the Republicans (@gopconference), the Tea Party (@TPPatriots), and the Libertarians (@LPNational). @CSPAN has also compiled comprehensive lists of all the House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates on Twitter.
The @WashingtonPost made news themselves as the first news organization to sponsor a Promoted Trend on Twitter. If you clicked on #Election on the Twitter.com home page you would have seen the Post’s election coverage from their page. The Washington Post Blog includes a link to a users' photo gallery where people can uploaded their "I Voted" badges.
Foursquare also got involved in this year's election day with their location-based social media tool. They offered users a special limited-edition "iVoted" badge to display. Foursquare users earned the badge by checking in at the polling station and including #ivoted in their "shout out." As of noon on Tuesday PST, Foursquare users had registered 12,544 polling stations as places to check in, and recorded a total of 21,166 actual check-ins, or roughly two check-ins per venue.
So what role do you think social media will play in the 2012 elections? Anyone what to give us some of your predictions? I'm sure the campaign wheels are starting to turn already. Hey this is what democracy and freedom of speech is all about, right?