Sick of Social Media Political Spam? Just wait. It’s Going to Get Worse.

Obama ClintonSocial Media websites are flooded with postings promoting one presidential candidate or insulting another.  Conventional wisdom says that after the nominations are handed out, we will see a decrease simply because there will be fewer people to post stories about.  This assumption is incorrect, but we’ll explain that later.  Right now, the landscape for social media coverage is starting on a temporary downslide.

For the Democrats, Reddit darling Dennis Kucinich is falling too far behind to matter.  Frontrunners Clinton and Obama enjoy moderate play on social media.  The rest are dropping off slowly.

In the world of Republicans and social media, there are two words.  One of those words is Paul.  The other starts with an R.  If you don’t know from those hints, you probably shouldn’t be on a social media blog.  The other Republicans normally get very little in the way of social media love.

Why do we anticipate a huge jump in social media exposure for the final 2 candidates(plus the Indies and other parties, of course)?  One more word: Google.

What SEOs and social media marketers have known for a while now is that social media sites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller can give instant, albeit short lived, access to the search engine (no need for plural in this case).  Soon, the campaign teams will notice, if they haven’t already, that Google loves social media.

Take the search term “Political Coverage” as an example.  Not a high volume keyword, but still, most would agree that it would take weeks to rank on the front page.  As of the time of this posting, the google search for Political Coverage has a story that was Dugg, plus the Digg itself, on the front page.  They went popular 26 hours ago.

StumbleUpon seems to have a similar effect.  With Google adding StumbleUpon rankings and reviews next to search results, there is a distinct note of favoritism for stories, pages, and videos that are stumbled often and reviewed well.

Barack StumbleUpon

YouTube has become another instant way to the front page.  Searching for the highly competitive term “Barack Obama” offers a video on the front page that was submitted less than 24 hours ago.

Most Americans are “playoff participants”.  They don’t watch much college basketball until March and they don’t watch much baseball until October.  The same is true for politics.  While we have our interests in the candidates and we watch to see who’s winning the primaries, the majority of people who will be voting in November are the ones who are waiting to see who emerges as the nominees before they really do their research.

Where will they go when it’s time for that research?  Most will start their research at a website that starts with G.

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  1. The question is, does this social network traffic and enhanced Google coverage result in more votes? As you point out, R. Paul gets a lot of social media attention, yet he’s far behind the front runners in the republican race.

  2. The social media traffic – probably not much. In reality, social media users are, for the most part, very opinionated. The press that one person or another receives doesn’t sway their votes.

    The effect will come in that social media effects Google, and whne people (non-social media types) start looking into “who is Barack Obama”: or “what does Romney believe”, they are going to go to the search engines. Controlling what pops us is extremely important, so social media will get its share of importance even though it won’t be in direct influence of opinions. The influence on Google is social media’s real political strength.

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