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What role did social media really play in the 2012 election?

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

ObamaFour More Years! That was the message that was tweeted along with this photo by @BarackObama last night after it was announced that the President won the election. This photo has become the most retweeted photo in Twitter's history, with over 600,00 Retweets! It also has gotten 2.9 million Likes on Facebook.

Whether you voted for the President or for Mitt Romney you have to agree that this year's election was unprecedented when it came to the world of social media. I tried to keep my political views in check on my social networks, but as this week started it was hard not to share my support of the President.

Since the President was running for his second term, he already had a huge database of supporters which included a couple of my email addresses. Obama now has become the first major example in the digital campaign age of someone in elective politics that has built up a massive database. The question going forward is, what will he do with that list and who will reap the benefits of it in the next election?

The emails I received did of course ask for donations. But the majority of them either asked me to join a list of supporters or share a photo or a message on Facebook and Twitter. In the last week I receive an email asking me to join a Twitter support group, which I did. I then received emails that contained a variety of Tweets that I could easy retweet and/or use to post on Facebook. Here's a few of my tweets and retweets from yesterday that I just couldn't resist sharing: Tweets

On Facebook I was getting notifications directly from the Barack Obama page asking me to encourage certain friends of mine to get out and vote. It was through this Commit to Vote app that I had registered for. Once you accept and sign up for the app it posted to your Facebook Timeline and was then able to view your friends. I was Commit-to-Votethen getting messages encouraging me to ask my friend "Debbie" in Florida to vote and my friend "Yvonne" and "Tom" in Colorado to vote. The app was targeting friends of mine that lived in the so called swing states.

I didn't push any of these friends of mine to vote because I knew they were voting or had already voted. In fact Yvonne had written on her Facebook status questioning why Facebook keeps asking her to vote when she already had. Well Yvonne it was because you live in one of the these "Swing States". I hope we don't have to hear that term now for awhile.

So a question the committees will need to ask going forward is, did these social media tactics pay off? The Commit to Vote app was a first, but it did kinda freak me out a little the fact that it knew who my friends were and were they lived. The other question is regarding the millions of dollars that were spent on ads and overall marketing. Everyone, regardless of who they supported, all seem to agree that the money spent here could have been put to much greater use. It appears we need some election campaign reform badly.

Congratulations to President Obama. It's now time for us, including him, to all get back to business. I am so proud of our process and to be an American today.

We also need to pray for that those in New York and New Jersey who hopefully will be spared from the storm that's approaching the East Coast today. Hard to believe that this Nor'easter is heading their way just a week after Hurricane Sandy! Let's not forget about this area and keep the donations coming!


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