Social Media And Political Perception

The election is roughly one week away.  It’s estimated that total political spending will eclipse $9.8 billion dollars this year.  That’s an increase of nearly 40% over 2008. New research is showing that social media is becoming a bigger source of political information and is having an effect on political opinions – especially with the 18-34 year old age group

• Overall, over one in four online adults said that social media had influenced their political opinions

• Among adults age 18 to 34,  more than one in five adults had gotten political information from Facebook, 17% had watched political information on YouTube, 16% looked at political blogs and just over 10% have looked at political tweets

• In the 35 to 54 year old age group, 14% visited a political blog and 12% looked at political post on Facebook.  Just 6% looked at a political video on YouTube and less than 5% paid attention to a political Tweet

• When you look at the 55+ age group,  blogs  and Facebook were the top social media information source for politics – but they both reached just 12% of that group. Political YouTube videos were viewed by 6% of adults 55+ and just 2% saw a political tweet.

• Less than 25% of online adults report never seeing any political postings in any social media this election season

What Does This Mean To You?

Social media is growing in importance.  It has definitely affected how people feel about the stores they shop in and the products they purchase.  Social media is now impacting possibly one of the most important decisions a person can make – who will be the leading our country.  As a business, publicly expressing your political views is a slippery slope.  For many people, their political views are tied to deeper beliefs and who you support can affect their views of your business.  This election has the possibility of being one of the closest in history.  You have to ask yourself the question – Am I willing to alienate half of my customer base?  For more information on how to make effective and actionable social media strategies, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: emarketer; Burst Media; AYTM Market Research

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