Social Media plays a crucial role in any effective campaign; political, commercial or personal. In the realm of politics, it allows them to reach a typically disinterested demographic – millennials. We saw in the 2008 presidential election, social media, especially the support of major players on various platforms can be a major advantage in any political race. An example of this is Yes We Can – Barack Obama Music Video, where 37 celebrities (musicians and actors) sang/spoke the words of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech set to music. The video posted on video sharing site YouTube has been viewed over 25 million times in the 8 years since it was posted. Looking back, when this video was released I was in the eighth grade. I can remember exactly when I first saw the music video, where I was in my house everything, that’s how powerful and “stand-out” it was. It was the moment that shaped my perception of the Presidential election; even as a Canadian it was that video at that moment that sealed Obama’s place as the candidate who should win the election, for me.
Mainstream social media has been posting anti-Trump content since the moment he announced his bid for the Republican presidential candidate. Initially, the general public thought he was running as a joke, and yes there are factions of American and the internet that are pro- Trump, but as the campaigns have progressed the vast majority of the world and the internet have firmly positioned themselves against him becoming the leader of the free world. But is the rest of the world tweeting their displeasure enough to sway the Americans set on Trump? I think so. However, it’s not the only thing that is going to be driving the vote away from Trump. This election is set to be another to make history, the last turnover in leaders saw the first African American elected, and now we have the potential for a Madame President…. or a business man who has more memes and gifs on Tumblr than all cats combined.
What makes this election different is that mass and traditional print media are also putting in their two- sense on who they believe should be the President of the United States. Notably, Vogue has endorsed Hilary Clinton and is using their influence as THE reference for fashion to lobby for Hilary. During the presidential debate Vogue and it’s editors took to social media to support Hilary. While it might not be social media in general that is going to win this election one way or another, it will be influencers, celebrities and media outlets use social media to mobilize their followers to vote for one candidate or another.
*Image: Annie Leibovitz*