June 8, 2015

Social Media Changes the Landscape of Political News and Campaigning

If you wish to increase awareness of political news amongst the Millennial generation, Facebook is the outlet to use. A study by the Pew Research Center, Millennials and Political News, shows that 61% of Millennials received political news in the last week from Facebook, while only 39% of Baby Boomers had. A majority of Baby Boomers continue to rely on local TV as their primary political news source.

The amount of times that young adults, including myself, check social media news feeds on a daily basis causes us to be infiltrated with content. Along with a trend of increased exposure to social media among young adults, there is a general downward trend in political awareness and interest, compared to those of older generations, according to the study.

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Photo courtesy of Pew Research Center 

Millennials are likely obtaining political news on Facebook not because they are actively seeking it out, but because they are seeing more of everything on Facebook.

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Photo courtesy of CNN

As we saw in mid-April with Hillary Clinton’s presidential run announcement, social media is effective in grabbing public attention and spreading a message quickly. Clinton’s campaign website was launched at 3 p.m. on April 12, a video was posted to Facebook 10 minutes later announcing her campaign and by 3:30 p.m. she had tweeted her decision to run. Time will tell if Clinton’s decision to utilize heavy social media efforts will help her to gain the support of voters aged 18-33.

This study enlightens marketers and political campaigners alike in that in order to capture the attention of the Millennial generation, despite a downward trend in interest in political news, an active social media campaign can prove to be beneficial in increasing political awareness and engagement among these young adults.