Information gleaned from social media as influential as traditional media sources
Emily writes for CorpComms Mag, follow her tweets here @EmilyAVNicholls
Nearly half of social media users plan to vote using information gleaned from social media sites, according to a recent survey by Harris Interactive.
The survey revealed that almost 40 per cent of social media users say that information that they gather from social media sites will affect their voting choices as much as traditional media sources.
Six out of ten 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.
American President Barack Obama has an official @BarackObama Twitter account, which is run by #Obama2012 campaign staff and has almost 11 million followers. Obama also has a presence on Facebook.
The American online survey was carried out between 21 September and 23 September 2011, and involved more than 2,300 adults aged 18 and older.