Survey: Voters Will Be Influenced by Social Media in Presidential Elections
Social media played a major part in the last Presidential election, and new research suggests that it will play a big role in the upcoming election as well.
That is the finding of a new survey by Harris Interactive, in which nearly 50% of social media users plan on using information gained from social media sites in their voting decision.
The survey found that social media will be as influential as more traditional media sources in the voting choices of the electorate.
Six out of 10 social media users believe that the 2012 Presidential candidates will have a social media presence.
Jordan Bitterman, senior vice president of Digitas, said: 'In at least the last two election cycles, digital media has taken a profound a role in determining our next president as TV did in earlier generations. But the results of this new research show that the extraordinary power of social networks to connect us and build relationships may have even greater impact on who wins in 2012.'
The research found that social media users aged between 18 and 34 are the most likely to turn to social media for information on Presidential candidates, and more than half say that social networks are likely to impact on their voting choice.
Two fifths of those aged over 55 said that they plan to call on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to gather information about the Presidential candidates, while less than a quarter say that social networks are likely to affect their choice.
Households with lower incomes are more likely to rely on social media: almost half of social media users with a household income of less than $35,000 are more likely to have their voting decision affected by social media than those with household incomes of more than $50,000.
The study found that more than 80 per cent of American adults are active social media users, and almost 90 per cent of them are registered voters.